The grave effects of climate change have increasingly appeared in all socio-economic fields in Vietnam, especially in HCMC.
Environment monitoring reports in 2011 showed that the sea level in Vung Tau City grows by 1.33mm per year on average. Adding to this is a rise of precipitation each year owning to climate change, making urban flooding in HCMC worse and worse.
Normally, HCMC is rarely affected by typhoons. However, lately, typhoons seem to have moved southwards gradually, not to mention their level becoming more severe and even reaching the classification of super typhoon. Along with that are regular whirlwinds in the rainy season, causing damage to humans and properties.
According to Mr. Nguyen Trong Nghia, an expert in energy and planning and a HCMC consultant in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), the principal reason leading to climate change is the uncontrollable release of exhaust fumes into the air, particularly greenhouse gases.
He cited that HCMC in 2016 discharged over 52 million tonnes of CO2, compared to 38.5 million tonnes 3 years before, mostly from traffic and energy harnessing.
In order to alleviate this environmental problem, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment has already performed several tasks related to monitoring and managing emissions in the fields of traffic, energy production, waste processing, industrial activities, agriculture, forest and land use.
Simultaneously, HCMC is boosting its cooperation with global organizations to receive proper help on human resources, finance, and advanced technologies.
Notably, HCMC has signed a collaboration memo with C40 about publicizing carbon emission volume and with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) about reducing greenhouse gases (Support the Planning and Implementation of National Appropriate Mitigation Action – SPI-NAMA).
Sadly, results of recent emission reduction activities are not as expected due to certain limits.
Therefore, the municipal authorities have decided to launch 20 schemes from 2021-2030 citywide, many of which will be research on alternative energy for vehicles in HCMC to replace the current popular petrol and diesel fuel, in hope of reducing about 57,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
HCMC People’s Committee reported that the upcoming 5 urban subway routes in the period from 2021-2030 will firstly address the thorny issue of traffic congestion. Additionally, they will help to decrease greenhouse gas emission in the whole city by over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Regarding manufacturing activities, the city will support businesses to upgrade their own production technologies, leaning towards greener ones, and to effectively conserve energy.
As to waste processing, there will be a close network within the city to transport and treat sewage using thermal hydrolysis in order to produce power.
Representative of C40 Ellie Kilroy shared that her organization will introduce the Pathways model – a citywide planning tool to provide strategic analyses for necessary greenhouse gas mitigation actions. The tool also allows the city to see predictable results of those actions in reality and compare among possible actions to choose the optimal one so that emission can reach the zero level.
Being a member of C40, HCMC is expected to greatly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas release in Vietnam, reaching the aim of being a zero-carbon-emission society.