Ho Chi Minh City is making a climate change response plan for 2020 – 2030 with the support of international organisations, focused on mitigation and adaptation measures.
|Vehicles wade through floodwater caused by tidal surges on An Binh street in District 5, HCM City, in October 2018
At a workshop on July 16, Assoc. Prof. Dr Mai Tuan Anh, head of the hydrometeorology and climate change division at the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said according to a study conducted by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Germany’s NewClimate Institute and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, suitable climate change response policies in cities will help the world save billions of dollars annually.
For example, energy saving policies can cut households’ expenses as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, policies on developing public transportation will help city dwellers minimise their exposure to polluted air and reduce premature deaths from diseases and traffic accidents.
Anh said facing the increasingly complex developments and serious impacts of climate change, Ho Chi Minh City has been taking numerous measures to cope with this global phenomenon with help from international organisations like the C40 and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Within C40 cooperation, the city wrote a letter showing its commitment to climate change response efforts, he added.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Ho Quoc Bang, Director of the centre for air pollution and climate change studies at the Institute for Environment and Resources under the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, said the city built a plan for climate change response in 2013 and updated this plan in 2017. The one for the 2020 – 2030 is being drafted with the support of international organisations.
At the workshop, Joselito Guevarra, head of climate action planning in Southeast Asia at the C40, said his organisation is assisting Ho Chi Minh City to make an action plan for climate change response. The city aims to finalise this plan by December 2020.
He went on to say that Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing regions in terms of urban growth and population. Four of the countries most vulnerable to climate change are located in this region, namely Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Climate change impacts may pose serious threats to food security in the region, especially rice and cereal output.
Guevarra added the C40 is working with five Southeast Asian cities (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Quezon) through climate action plans, building capacity for implementing these plans in the long term, taking transformative climate actions by reducing gas emissions from buildings and transport activities, stepping up energy production, boosting waste management and promoting climate change adaptation.
At the event, Bang pointed out that about 20 projects on climate change response have been implemented in Ho Chi Minh City, but they have yet to meet expectations due to financial problems and the limited capacity of staff.
Ho Chi Minh City has been severely affected by climate change as seen through abnormal torrential rains or scorching heat, which have harmed local residents’ health.
To ensure an effective response to climate change, Bang proposed the city focus on adaptation solutions; make plans for the rational use of land, water and energy resources and for waste treatment; develop public transport means using energy-saving and eco-friendly technologies; and expand green spaces.
According to Nguyen Trong Nghia, an energy and planning expert from RCEE – NIRAS – the company the C40 chose to give advice on Ho Chi Minh City’s plan making, the city considers climate change response a task for all of society. It has identified 10 priority fields for climate change response, namely urban planning, energy, transportation, industry, water management, waste management, construction, healthcare, agriculture and tourism.