Vietnam is vulnerable to climate change and changing weather patterns. Climate change threatens development, as more than half of the workforce is dependent on natural resources, and the majority of the population live in coastal areas and low-lying deltas. Models project an average temperature increase of 0.6-1.2°C by 2040, and 1.1-3.6°C by 2100; under a 2°C warming scenario, extreme heat is projected to cover nearly 60-70% of the country, and the frequency of severe storms and associated extreme rainfall is expected to increase.

As a result of climate change and socio-economic development activities, the natural disaster situation in Vietnam is becoming increasingly complex. Torrential rains and tropical typhoons are some of the most common natural disasters in Vietnam. The number of typhoons reached a record high in 2017, with 386 people dead or missing. Total losses were estimated at approximately USD 2.7 billion, with the majority coming from rice production and other crops. Areas facing high risks due to climate change are agriculture and food security, natural ecosystems, biodiversity, water resources, public health, residential areas, and technical infrastructure due to their high exposure and sensitivity to natural disasters and extreme weather events.


GHG emissions have been increasing rapidly in Vietnam over the last decade, driven by coal-fired power plants. According to the State of the National Environment Report (2021), Vietnam’s total GHG emissions increased by about three times during the period 1994-2016. In the same period, emissions in the energy sector increased by about eight times due to Vietnam’s rapidly increasing demand for energy.


Key policies and governance approach

In recent years, Vietnam has developed and issued several important policies on climate change response at the national level, such as the Resolution of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam on the orientation of Viet Nam’s National Energy Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2045 (2020); Viet Nam’s Renewable Energy Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2050 (2015); the Plan for Implementation of the Paris Agreement (PIPA) (2016); Vietnam’s Power Development Plan for the 2021 2030 period (PDP VIII); among others.

In 2020, Vietnam submitted its updated NDC. The updated NDC identifies economy-wide mitigation measures for the period 2021-2030 that spans the energy, agriculture, waste, land use, land use change and forestry, and industrial sectors. The NDC also identifies targets and pathways to improve adaptive capacity, enhance resilience, and reduce risks caused by climate change, and includes loss and damage, health, gender equality, and child protection, in line with the National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

Further, Vietnam notes that in addition to advancing SDG 13 (climate action), its updated NDC makes a large contribution to SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), among other Goals.


Successes and Remaining Challenges

Vietnam is making positive efforts to address climate change. As a result of forest protection and afforestation programmes, land use change and forestry sectors, since 2010, have gradually shifted from emitting GHGs to absorbing GHGs. In addition, in recent years, there have been positive developments in Vietnam’s renewable energy policy, including Viet Nam’s Renewable Energy Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2050 (2015). However, this does not yet outweigh Vietnam’s carbon intensive plans.

The implementation of Vietnam’s updated NDC requires extensive financial, technological, and human resources, in which Vietnam’s capacity is limited. The need for disaster prevention and control and adaptation in response to sea level rise and urban flooding is enormous. However, Vietnam’s limited national resources may be required for different purposes, especially given that Vietnam is still a lower middle-income country with a poverty rate likely to increase. In addition, the implementation of the NDC will likely have some negative impacts on the implementation of the country's socio-economic development goals, which could result in trade-offs with Vietnam’s climate goals.


Goals and Ambitions

At COP 26, Vietnam made a commitment to stop deforestation by 2030 and phase out coal-fueled power generation by 2040.



  • There is a strong need to improve forecasting and warning capabilities, especially for abnormal and erratic occurrences of extreme weather. Prevention and control of natural disasters should focus not only on the response phase but also on prevention.
  • Adaptation measures focus mainly on hard measures such as improvement of levees and foundations. As for soft measures, planning, mangrove forest planting, tree planting to mitigate the effects of tidal waves, urban planning ... etc. should be given further attention.
  • There is a need to improve M&E systems for climate change adaptation at the project level, sector level, and national level.



  • It is important to establish an MRV system for GHG reduction at the national and sectoral levels.
  • Develop a list of climate action and green growth projects that are likely to mobilize the participation of all economic sectors, including projects that prioritize the implementation of updated NDC-related contributions, using different investment approaches to mobilize resources from the business sector and international assistance funds.
  • Strengthen the capacity of ministries to assist facilitating organizations, especially companies, in the process of obtaining investment capital from foreign funds in a simpler and easier way.


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