December 14, 2022 responds to $15billion Just Energy Transition Partnership deal for Vietnam

Asia – The Just Energy Transition Partnership between Vietnam, the European Union and the United Kingdom was announced. The $15.5 billion deal could see Vietnam hit peak emissions earlier than expected, with a significant cut in coal-powered energy as part of the climate finance deal with G7 countries.

This agreement comes on the heels of similar JETP announcements for South Africa and Indonesia at the G20 finance ministers meeting. Recipient countries have consistently called for transparency and accountability in the implementation of JETP deals, with activists in Vietnam similarly calling for civil society freedom and public participation.

Sisilia Dewi, Asia Managing Director says,

“The time for climate-destroying coal is over and this is a step in the right direction in the phasing out of coal in Vietnam and the rest of the Asian continent. This deal has the potential to propel Vietnam towards an emissions peak date, even earlier than the 2035 target pledged by the Vietnamese government in Glasgow last year. Partnerships such as the JET-P are crucial in the clean energy transition for developing countries like Vietnam and Indonesia but must be built on transparency and accountability. Energy is a vital need of the people and therefore, there must be genuine participation of the people in how these large pots of climate finance are used. These partnerships also shouldn’t lock Global South countries into further debt, and unfortunately we see only a minor portion of the Vietnam agreement as grant-based, with the majority as public loans and private pledges. We must remember that a  “just transition” is one that rejects false solutions such as LNG, which would lock us even further into climate chaos, and prioritizes the freedom, sovereignty, and future of all citizens.”

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“Vietnam can get on the fast track to clean energy transition and off the addiction of coal with its abundant renewable energy sources. JETP deals are welcome additions that can be mobilized quickly for countries to transition off of fossil fuels and leapfrog to renewables. Yet, the deal announced for Vietnam cites a mix of public loans and private pledges. In order to stick to our common goal of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees celsius, we need to see funds flow from rich countries in the form of grants, aligned with their historic responsibility, that will not burden developing economies with more debt. For these deals to be really successful in reducing emissions, they should focus on real solutions and steer clear of creating further stranded assets like LNG terminals and dampening the pace of the energy transition in Vietnam and beyond, and focus on the transition off of fossil fuels.