Viet Nam’s rapid urbanization and economic growth are accelerating cooling demand in cities and the urban heat island effect (UHIE). The accompanying surge in power demand and refrigerant use will drive growth in emissions from cooling from 34MTCO2.eq in 2017 to 81MTCO2.eq by 2030.
For Viet Nam early action to curb this emissions growth from cooling is a priority, as highlighted in its updated NDC to deliver its net-zero economy by 2050. At the same time, the NDC acknowledges that access to cooling is a public health imperative in the region. Heat stress is already chronic in some urban areas and Viet Nam’s largest cities are some of the most threatened by deadly heat globally.
Greater municipal intervention on cooling and extreme heat is a crucial but underdeveloped element in Viet Nam’s policy frameworks. A whole-system approach to sustainable urban cooling is key to avoid dangerous heat in an optimal and resource-efficient manner by reducing heat at the urban scale, reducing cooling needs in buildings, and serving cooling needs efficiently.
Viet Nam’s cities need cross-cutting financial and capacity support to unlock their vital role as planner, coordinator, financier and advocate for sustainable cooling and protecting their citizens from extreme heat.
The project will support two pilot cities of Can Tho and Tam Ky to prepare Urban Cooling Action Plans (UCAPs) that integrate action on cooling and extreme heat into a range of municipal plans and masterplans. In parallel, the project will support these cities to finance pilot projects and unlock stable municipal budgets for intervention on extreme heat and urban cooling. Dong Hoi city will also receive light touch support through the project. Interventions will include improved urban design, nature-based solutions, passive cooling measures, municipal incentives, district cooling and sustainable public procurement.
By working on-the-ground with the pilot cities, the project will tailor the global best practices recommended under the Beating the Heat: Sustainable Cooling Handbook for Cities. In parallel, to unlock increased finance for UCAP implementation, a national cooling fund will be established under the existing Environmental Protection Fund. This project will also work with the national government to integrate and promote city-action on cooling and extreme heat through various national policies including the implementation of Viet Nam’s NDC.
The project is co-led by UNEP and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and is being closely executed with Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The project is funded with the support of the Clean Cooling Collaborative (CCC).