Vietnam PM calls for climate justice at COP26

By Vo Thanh   November 1, 2021 | 09:30 pm PT
Vietnam PM calls for climate justice at COP26
Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh arrives at the opening ceremony of the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Conference, November 1, 2021. Photo by AFP
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has made an impassioned plea for fairness and justice in climate change issues and for all nations to further cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) on Monday, he said: "Climate change has really become the biggest challenge facing humanity. Extreme weather events and sea-level rise are seriously affecting food security, water security, sustainable development, and even threatening the survival of many countries and communities.

"This warning of nature compels us to act forcefully, responsibly on a global scale without any further delays."

Responding to climate change and restoring nature must become the highest priority in all development policies and the highest ethical standard for politicians at all levels, industries, businesses, and people, he said.

Science must lead and financial resources must be the leverage for transformation toward a green, circular economy, and all actions must be based on nature and people-centered, leaving no one behind, he said.

"Countries need to make strong commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities based on their specific circumstances and capacity.

"But it is necessary to ensure equity and justice in responding to climate change."

As a developing country that has just started to industrialize in the last three decades, Vietnam has the advantage of renewable energy and would implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

But for that it needs the support of the international community in terms of funding and technology, and implementing the Paris Climate Accords, a global treaty on climate change that was adopted in 2015, so that it could achieve its net-zero climate target by 2050, he said.

Chinh is leading a delegation of officials from National Assembly committees and the ministries of defense, foreign affairs, environment, and finance to the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.

The event is being attended by 30,000 delegates from all over the world, including over 100 national leaders.

At the opening ceremony leaders reaffirmed the need for humanity to keep pursuing the goal of keeping the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius and limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

COP26 has been widely touted as the "last best chance" for to tackle climate change, restore nature and protect future generations.

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