Findings of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC and Viet Nam's response to climate change at the high-level dialogue in Ha Noi

Update: 11/10/2018
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam (MONRE) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hosted a high-level dialogue on climate change on Wednesday morning, October 10, 2018 in Ha Noi.

Mr. Le Cong Thanh, Vice Minister of MONRE, spoke during the opening session of the high-level dialogue on climate change

The dialogue was attended by policymakers, practitioners, scientists, civil society representatives and media from Viet Nam. At the dialogue, information on the newly approved Special Report of the IPCC on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C and related global greenhouse gas emission related pathways, known as Global Warming of 1.5ºC, were also shared.

The dialogue was opened by Mr. Le Cong Thanh, Vice Minister of MONRE, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam, and Mr. Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.

“As one of the countries heavily impacted by climate change, Viet Nam has actively implemented international commitments and efforts to cope with climate change. Viet Nam has issued a Plan for the Implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, with a focus on implementing its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). The dialogue focuses on issues related to the response actions to climate change in Viet Nam; promoting cooperation, connection with development partners, scientific community, enterprises, organizations and individuals to response to climate change” said Vice Minister Le Cong Thanh in his remarks.

Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam, spoke during the opening session of the high-level dialogue on climate change

 “UNDP is proud of having strong partnership with the Government of Vietnam to build resilience for most-at risk communities, especially the poor and ethnic groups, and affected regions such as coastal area and Mekong delta”, UNDP Country Director Ms. Caitlin Wiesen commended. “Building on strong foundation achieved through the economic renewable “doi moi”, Vietnam can certainly achieve climate resilient and low-carbon development pathways, benefiting from interaction between rapid technological innovation, sustainable infrastructure investment, and increased resource productivity”, she said.

The IPCC is the world body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly, to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

In December 2015, when governments adopted the Paris Agreement, they invited the IPCC to prepare a report on warming of 1.50C in 2018, when nations review the Paris Agreement at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), to be held in Poland in December this year. The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was approved by the IPCC in early October this year in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

Chair of the IPCC, Mr. Hoesung Lee presented a keynote speak at the high-level dialogue on climate change

At the high-level dialogue, Chair of the IPCC, Mr. Hoesung Lee presented a keynote speak on the contents of the IPCC’s 1.5°C Special Report, global efforts and recommendations for Vietnam. Mr. Hoesung Lee said “Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. He also added “With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society”.

According to the report, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.50C compared to 20C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.50C compared with 20C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.50C, compared with at least once per decade with 20C. Coral reefs would decline by 70–90 percent with global warming of 1.50C, whereas virtually all (>99 percent) would be lost with 20C.

At the dialogue, scientists also presented issues including: (i) Viet Nam‘s effort in implementing the Paris Agreement to contribute to the global target; and (ii) the update of the global efforts in implementing the Paris Agreement. In addition, the interventions from ministerial-level agencies on the actions to respond to climate change in Viet Nam in agriculture, natural resources, industry and trade, transportation, construction and health sector were presented by representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of construction, and the Ministry of Health.

Following the high-level dialogue, a scientific workshop and a public event were also organized in the afternoon. 

Doan Thi Xuan Huong

Source: MONRE