Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry visited Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre Province, and Hanoi, Vietnam, September 2 through September 6 to see first-hand the climate impacts in the Mekong Delta and for bilateral climate talks with the Government of Vietnam, building on conversations that started in 2013 regarding Vietnam’s energy transition.
Secretary Kerry and Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính expressed their resolve to work together intensively toward an accelerated energy transition for Vietnam and other efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in support of Vietnam’s 2050 net zero emissions goal announced at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, and to make Vietnam a leader in the region in combating the climate crisis.
Vietnam determined to undertake the significant policy and reform efforts necessary to implement Vietnam’s 2050 net zero emissions commitment and to rapidly transition to an efficient and clean energy economy and to phase down coal power, including through accelerating the development of large-scale renewable energy.
The two sides recognized the central importance of a just transition of the workforce, consistent with international best practices, and resolved to collaborate on these topics. Secretary Kerry expressed the U.S. intention to catalyze global support for Vietnam’s energy transition, through technical assistance, and efforts to mobilize public and private investment, including grants and concessional loans. Secretary Kerry welcomed the intention of Vietnam to facilitate the connection of complete and nearly-complete renewable energy installations to Vietnam’s grid.
The United States welcomed Vietnam’s intention to submit by COP27 its updated NDC to reflect Vietnam’s commitments at COP26 and aligned with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Vietnam expressed its resolve to finalize as soon as possible the Power Development Plan 8 (PDP-8) to put the country’s power sector on a trajectory consistent with its 2050 net zero goal, with ambitious goals for growth in renewable energy, and maximum efforts to limit further development of coal, including tens of gigawatts of additional renewable energy capacity at affordable price, by 2030, and ensuring energy security.
To implement PDP-8, Vietnam intends to make use of its own domestic resources, along with the cooperation and support of the United States and the international community, especially from the developed countries, in terms of finance and technology. Key areas for technical assistance include wind and solar potential assessment, legal consultation, renewable energy and supporting industries development, human resources development, and management skills. Vietnam also determined to significantly increase high-voltage transmission capacity in order to support greater levels of renewable energy, and to take steps toward facilitating the ability of the private sector and development finance institutions to invest in transmission while ensuring energy affordability.
Vietnam stated its intention to implement the Direct Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) pilot as soon as possible in order to facilitate the execution of power purchase agreements directly between renewable energy developers and power purchasers, helping to catalyze additional growth in renewable energy and the greening of Vietnam’s industrial sector.
Secretary Kerry and Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính noted the impacts of the ongoing energy crisis, and resolved to deepen investments in renewable energy, minimizing exposure to fuel price volatility, enhancing energy security, and maximizing consumer benefits.
Secretary Kerry expressed his commitment to the bilateral relationship and expressed strong support for further enhanced high-level communication between the two countries in the coming months.
Secretary Kerry and Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính resolved to launch the U.S.- Vietnam Climate Change Working Group by COP27. Secretary Kerry also welcomed the efforts of Vietnam’s National Steering Committee for implementing Vietnam 's Commitments at COP26, including those to further facilitate private investment in renewable energy and transmission. Secretary Kerry shared with Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính the desire of the United States to elevate the bilateral relationship, with cooperation on combating the climate crisis as a pillar of the relationship.
Secretary Kerry said: “The United States is committed to working with G7 countries and others to support an ambitious and just energy transition and climate change adaptation in Vietnam.”
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính said: “Climate change is a global issue, so a global approach is required. As this issue affects every person, an inclusive approach is necessary. Vietnam calls for justice and fairness in the fight against climate change. Vietnam is committed to rapid implementation of the 2050 net zero emissions pledge through speeding progress toward renewable energy growth and to working closely with international partners including the United States in doing so. Vietnam calls for concrete international support in wind and solar potential assessment, technology development and transfer, renewable energy and supporting industries development, concessional financing, human resources development, management skills, and enhancing the resilience of vulnerable communities in Vietnam, including the Mekong Delta.”