On the 5th of September 2016, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) – in collaboration with the EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN) hosted the Global Leaders Dialogue Climate Change and Access to Clean Energy in Vietnam.  A landmark event on the topic in Vietnam, this event gathered Dr. Mary Robinson – UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate and Former President of Ireland -, and representatives from the Vietnamese Government, led by Vice Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT). The event was attended by 80 guests and took place after a closed meeting earlier that morning between Dr. Robinson and MOIT Minister Tran Tuan Anh together. This pre-event meeting was an opportunity for a high-level exchange on the topic, with Minister Anh closing the discussion with an offer to Eurocham to hold further joint discussions on green and other investments in the future.

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Mary Robinson and Minister Tran Tuan Anh

Mary Robinson is a leading global voice regarding contemporary concerns on climate change and clean energy, advocating for widespread access to green energy for all strata of society, particularly the poorest. Dr. Robinson presides over her own foundation, the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice (MRFCJ), which argues that responses to climate change should always uphold the principles of justice, solidarity and equity, prioritising the concerns of the most vulnerable communities.  The “climate justice way”, as the MRFCJ puts it, is a new perspective for the Vietnamese Government, having committed to take decisions soon in regards to the country’s “green” future.

The presence of MOIT’s Vice Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong enabled the discussion to be framed in the policy-making context of Vietnam and the Government to have direct contact with Dr. Robinson’s message. Vice Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong is in charge of energy policies at MOIT and will represent Vietnam at the Global Growth Week, a high-level event on the topic taking place until 9 September in Jeju, South Korea. e also is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, of which Dr. Robinson is the Chancellor.

Dr. Robinson was the first speaker, sharing her message of urgency in addressing climate change, while highlighting the necessity to include women, rural communities, and minorities in future solutions and policies in Vietnam. Following Dr. Robinson’s much applauded presentation, Vice Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong’s talk highlighted examples of how sustainability, environmental protection and clean energy are already integrated in the Government’s recent policies, with a strong commitment to enhance the importance of renewable energy in future policy-making.

The content of these talks was then deconstructed in a panel discussion, which included the two key speakers and business representatives Mr. Gavin Smith from Dragon Capital and Mr. James Mullen from ABB. A perspective from the NGO side was provided by Ms. Nguy Thi Khanh, Director of Green ID.

Finally, Mr. Adam Ward of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) shared the key findings of the Asia Regional Policy Dialogue report: Pushing the Envelope on Renewable Energy, in which Vietnam is featured. The study shows key performance indicators of several Asian countries and provides recommendations for a further scale up in renewable energy. This report is to be discussed at the Global Growth Week in Jeju, South Korea later this week.

This EuroCham Global Leaders Dialogue took place at the Hotel Melia Hanoi and gathered over 80 participants from diverse fields, including business professionals, industry experts, diplomats and embassy officials and international NGO officers. It was sponsored by Dragon Capital, with the co-sponsorship of ABB, EAB New Energy, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

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Source: EuroCham

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