CO2 emissions in Vietnam at alarming rate

The main source of CO2 emissions in Vietnam is from coal-fired electric power plants, according to an international conference in Hanoi on December 13.

The conference, held jointly by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)  clean energy group, was attended by leading experts from Vietnam and other countries around the world.

According to reports, in 2010, more than half of Vietnam’s electricity was sourced from thermal power plants with 18.5 percent fired by coal and 36.6 percent by burning oil and gas.

In 2000, about 150.9 million tonnes of CO2 were discharged into the environment in Vietnam, with the agricultural sector being the leading contributor (65 million tonnes – 43 percent), followed by the energy sector (52.7 million tonnes – 35 percent). Nine years later, CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels saw a 113-percent increase, 54 percent of which was from coal fired plants. On average, each 1KWh of electricity in Vietnam creates 0.52kg of CO2.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) estimates that Vietnam’s energy sector will produce 224 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2020, while other key industrial sectors will discharge about 10 million tonnes.

The ADB Country Director in Vietnam, Andrew Head, said Vietnam has achieved remarkable socio-economic development in recent years. However, the country is facing considerable environmental pollution, with CO2 emissions reaching an alarming level. “It’s the time for Vietnam to renovate its technology and use clean energy for production and in people’s daily lives,” he said.

In addition to developing renewable energy, Vietnam should focus on waste treatment and recycling, he added.

Le Tuan Phong, Deputy Head of the MoIT General Department of Energy, affirmed that Vietnam is one of the countries in the world that will be hardest-hit by climate change, which threatens its socio-economic development. The country is working on a scenario for a sustainable low-carbon economy as well as plans for adapting to climate change, he said.

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