17 September 2020
Viet Nam’s 2020 NDC Clarifies Loss and Damage, Outlines Contribution to SDGs 13, 11, 12
Photo credit: Lynn Wagner
story highlights

The updated NDC notes that by 2030, Viet Nam will reduce its GHG emissions by 9% – a commitment that could be raised up to 27% with international support.

The updated NDC addresses GHG emissions from the industrial processes sector, identifies adaptation measures for each region and sector, and clarifies expected economic and non-economic losses and damage.

In addition to advancing SDG 13 (climate action), Viet Nam’s updated NDC makes the largest contribution to SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production).

Viet Nam joins a group of 12 countries to submit a 2020 NDC, together representing less than 4% of global GHG emissions.

Viet Nam submitted its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) on 11 September, becoming the 12th country do so in 2020. Viet Nam updated its mitigation and adaptation contributions, noting co-benefits and synergies with the SDGs, and provided information on implementation impacts and progress.

In the mitigation component of the updated NDC, the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, which is based on the assumption of economic growth in the absence of climate change response policies, uses 2014 as the base year and the latest national GHG inventory results. Viet Nam will reduce its GHG emissions by 9% compared to the BAU scenario by 2030. Specifically, the GHG reduction volume is increased by 21.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq), from 62.7 million tCO2eq in the current NDC to 83.9 million tCO2eq in the updated NDC. International support could increase this contribution to 27% by 2030, equivalent to 250.8 million tCO2eq.

The updated NDC now also addresses emissions from the industrial processes sector, which in 2014 made up about 12% of the country’s total emissions. Industrial processes were added to the sectors such as energy, agriculture, waste, and land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), for which specific measures are identified for the period 2021-2030.

In the industrial processes sector, Viet Nam will reduce the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and implement measures for grinding blast furnace slag, fly ash, pozzolana, and limestone to replace clinker in cement production. In the energy sector, the emphasis lies on measures to increase efficiency and investments. Other mitigation measures include: developing renewable energy; restructuring transportation; and shifting from conventional fuels to biofuel, natural gas, and electricity.

The adaptation component identifies strategic tasks to enhance adaptation efficiency through the following: strengthening state management and resources; increasing resilience and adaptive capacity; and reducing risks caused by climate change. Adaptation measures to minimize damages caused by future climate change impacts are specifically identified for each region and sector. They relate to: natural resources and environment (for example, water); agriculture and rural development; public health, gender equality, and child protection; cities, housing, and transport; tourism and hospitality; industry; and trade.

The NDC contains updates on loss and damage which Viet Nam is facing even when adaptation and mitigation measures are effectively applied. It notes that:

  • In the 1995-2017 period, damage caused by natural disasters in Viet Nam was approximately USD 990 million (at 2010 values), with an increase of 12.7% per year.
  • The number of typhoons reached a record high in 2017, with 386 people dead or missing. Total losses were estimated at approximately USD 2.7 billion, with the majority coming from rice production and other crops.
  • Since the end of 2014, increased temperatures due to the impact of El Niño, combined with reduced rainfall, have caused droughts and saline intrusion, resulting in shortages of domestic water supply, seriously damaging production activities and people’s livelihoods.
  • By 2050, a loss of about 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) has been projected, associated with sea level rises of 18-38 centimeters. By 2100, if the sea level rises by 100 cm, 6.3% of Viet Nam’s land area will be submerged. Losses and damage caused by sea level rise in the agricultural sector alone could reach nearly USD 43 billion from 2020 to 2100.
  • Non-economic losses are likely to be higher than economic losses. They include loss of land due to erosion, loss of cultural heritage and local knowledge, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and negative impacts on people’s health and other consequences due to the relocation of communities and economic zones.

Viet Nam notes that in addition to advancing SDG 13 (climate action), its updated NDC makes the largest contribution to SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), among other Goals.

Parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change decided that they would, by 2020, communicate to the UNFCCC their NDCs to explain the status of their individual contributions to the collective goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Specifically, Parties with an NDC time frame up to 2025 were requested to communicate new, or second NDCs, and Parties with a time frame up to 2030 – to communicate or update their NDCs by 2020. 

In her letter in August, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa notified Parties of the UNFCCC Secretariat’s plan to publish, by 28 February 2021, an NDC synthesis report, which would serve to facilitate the understanding of countries’ NDCs. The report will comprise countries’ submissions recorded in the interim NDC registry as at 31 December 2020.

So far in 2020, only Norway, Moldova, Singapore, Japan, Chile, New Zealand, Rwanda, Jamaica, and Viet Nam have submitted an updated or updated their first NDC. Andorra submitted its second NDC. Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan submitted their first NDC, while Switzerland and Zambia informed that they are working on an enhanced and an updated NDC, respectively.

In previous years, the Marshall Islands submitted its second NDC (2018), as did Suriname (2019), while Lesotho and North Korea submitted their NDC updates. Together, these new and updated NDCs represent less than 4% of global GHG emissions, according to Climate Watch – an initiative managed by the World Resource Institute (WRI), which contributes an NDC tracking database to the NDC Partnership. [Viet Nam’s Updated NDC] [UNFCCC NDC Registry]

By Beate Antonich, Thematic Expert for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

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