Managers, business owners, and scientists from across the country attended a workshop on “Green finance and the carbon credit market” on the morning of September 6, 2023 in Ho Chi Minh City to contribute to finding a common voice for a green economy. The event took place before the 2023 Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum with the theme “Green Growth – Journey towards zero emission” which will be held on September 13 – 17, 2023.
Attending and chairing the workshop were Member of the Party Central Committee, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Phan Van Mai; Standing Member of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee Phan Duc Hieu; Member of the National Assembly’s Science, Technology and Environment Committee Nguyen Quang Huan; Director of the Legal Department – Ministry of Finance Hoang Thai Son; Director of the Policy Strategy Institute – Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Dinh Tho; Editor-in-Chief of SGGP Newspaper Tang Huu Phong; Standing Deputy Editor-in-Chief of SGGP Newspaper Nguyen Nhat.
The workshop also had the participation of many delegates from policy consultation agencies, financial institutions, more than 150 businesses in many industries and a large number of news agencies.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Editor-in-Chief of SGGP Newspaper Tang Huu Phong emphasized that facing extreme changes of climate change in the 21st century, the world is increasingly concerned about the environment. According to statistics from international organizations, Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Vietnam is also one of the economies with the highest carbon emission in Asia. Therefore, in Vietnam, the green growth strategy for the period 2011-2020 and vision to 2050 focuses on three tasks including: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of clean and renewable energy sources; greening production; greening lifestyles and promoting sustainable consumption. Ho Chi Minh City as the economic engine of the country faces both opportunities and challenges when the National Assembly has approved a number of specific development mechanisms and policies through Resolution No. 98.
Ho Chi Minh City at the forefront of green transformation, implementing Resolution No. 98/2023/QH15
Mr. Phan Van Mai, Member of the Party Central Committee, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the City Party Committee, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee made clear that facing the great challenge of climate change, Ho Chi Minh City needs to grasp green transformation trend, promoting green transformation to create new opportunities, new motivation, new competitive advantages for the city’s economy, contributing to the national economy. Chairman of the City People’s Committee affirmed that Ho Chi Minh City’s mission is to be a leading locality, taking on the biggest tasks in green transformation and sustainable development, contributing to implementing national commitments in international agreements. Acknowledging the lack of general orientation and legal framework on green transformation and sustainable development in Vietnam, the city has researched the strategic framework for green transformation and sustainable development and will officially announce it at the 2023 Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum in September.
Mr. Phan Van Mai also commented that as a key to success of green transformation, businesses should be facilitated to access green finance to transform production, enter markets and develop sustainably. In the coming time, Ho Chi Minh City will issue policies to support businesses in digital and green transformation.
Green finance – a tool to solve environmental challenges
As one of the chairmen of the workshop, Mr. Nguyen Quang Huan, Member of the National Assembly’s Science, Technology and Environment Committee, Chairman of Halcom Vietnam Joint Stock Company, affirmed that developing the green finance and carbon market will be a priority to implement in the near future. In particular, a carbon tax and regulations on emissions trading system will be the key for Vietnam to achieve its ambitious climate and development goals, leveraging Vietnam’s position in the fight against global warming in the world stage. He said that the Committee is currently considering developing a Climate Change Law, and even a law on renewable energy.
Dr. Ho Quoc Tuan (Bristol University, UK) affirmed that green credit is a popular and inevitable trend in the world, providing debt instruments with preferential interest rates for projects that create good impacts on the environment, for example green loans, green bonds, sustainable linked bonds… Green credit, when used effectively, can direct capital to projects that contribute to the industry’s emissions reduction commitments.
Regarding this issue, Dr. Nguyen Linh Ngoc, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Clean Water and Environment, said that for Vietnam to develop a sustainable carbon market, it’s important to form clear and transparent tools and legal frameworks to perform greenhouse gas inventory activities in the process of developing policies and regimes of greenhouse gas emission quotas.
Difficulties and challenges in the process of greening the economy
However, green transformation and emission reduction to realize the net zero commitment is a long journey with many difficulties and challenges. According to an economic expert, Dr. Nguyen Tri Hieu, there is a serious lack of regulations on financial support for environmental protection in Vietnam, especially on green credit. Vietnam only sees a few banks providing loans for environmental protection, and green bonds for environmental protection are not popular. Representatives of businesses attending the workshop also complaint about the difficulties in accessing green financial sources and green bonds when developing technologies to optimize emissions reduction and energy consumption in Vietnam.
Recognizing the necessity of green credit programs, as a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City business sector, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Business Association (HUBA) proposed that financial institutions and authorities should develop mechanisms and solutions so that financial institutions can issue green bonds for on-lending to businesses to facilitate their business transformation.
As for commercial banks, Mr. Pham Trung Kien, Deputy Head of Agribank Representative Office in the Southern region said that with the key role of providing capital and financial services to the agricultural and rural sector, Agribank determined to take the lead in implementing the Government’s policies and directions on promoting green credit growth, managing environmental and social risks in credit granting activities, contributing to building a sustainable agriculture.
Regarding this issue, Mr. Nguyen Dang Thanh, Deputy General Director of HDBank affirmed that, in addition to taking advantage of the support of international financial institutions, HDBank will continue to research and perfect green financial policies for businesses and individuals, for example, on green loan packages and related services. The Bank will also research to have solutions to support those participating in the carbon credit market.
Closing the workshop, Mr. Nguyen Nhat, Permanent Deputy Editor-in-Chief of SGGP Newspaper, thanked the participation of leaders of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, representatives of National Assembly committees, ministries, experts and more than 150 people contributing to the success of the event. Thanks to their constructive opinions, he expressed his hope that related contents will continue to be raised in other forums and discusions, and specific policies and regimes will be built on green finance and carbon credit market to benefit the whole society.