A conference for experts from Germany and Vietnam to analyze and discuss the potential of Vietnam’s just energy for local economic and labor growth took place in Hanoi on Wednesday.
The “Just Energy Transition = Job Accelerator for Vietnam? German-Vietnamese perspectives on employment and skills needs,” hosted by the German Embassy in Hanoi on Wednesday, attracted nearly 200 delegates and 300 private attendees, according to press release issued by the embassy.
“Just energy transition” typically refers to financing mechanisms that allow developed countries to fund clean energy initiatives in fossil fuel-dependent developing countries.
Many of those in attendance represented Vietnamese governmental agencies, such as the National Assembly; the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Industry and Trade; the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN); the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences.
Representatives from mission-based organizations, such as the German Institute for Employment Research and the Institute for Sustainable Futures - University of Technology Sydney, were also in attendance.
Specifically, the event focused on exploring the transformative potential of just energy transition for Vietnam's workforce and economy.
Measures currently underway which will create a forward-looking framework for enhancing green skills and green jobs were also discussed at the conference.
|Delegates at the ‘Just Energy Transition = Job Accelerator for Vietnam? German-Vietnamese perspectives on employment and skills needs’ conference in Hanoi on September 20, 2023. Photo: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Hanoi|
A common topic of discussion at the conference was the philosophy that just energy transition must also acknowledge social, cultural, environmental, economic, and identity-related issues in order to ensure that marginalized communities are not “left behind.”
Addressing the conference, Dr. Guido Hildner, the German Ambassador to Vietnam, congratulated the Vietnamese government for its ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and its commitment to a comprehensive Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) signed by Vietnam and the G7 Plus Members in December 2022.
“Germany is a long standing and reliable Partner of Vietnam. Our first joint project in the field of renewable energies started in 2009. Since then our cooperation has continuously grown and currently comprises an overall portfolio of ongoing and planned projects of more than 1 billion Euro,” the ambassador said.
Ambassador Hildner also told the conference that the number of employees in occupations with green skills in Germany has increased by 56.7 percent to 5 million from 2012 to 2020, demonstrating that, although energy transition is a complex and demanding process, there are also huge opportunities both individuals and the economy.
Aside from Hildner, International experts used their platforms at the conference to share stories of the world's energy transition, highlighting successful mechanisms for the transition and clarifying the importance of nurturing the workforce and building mechanisms and policies with long-term visions to promote the development of new jobs and indirect jobs related to the energy transformation.
Acknowledging the importance of fostering and upgrading labor skills, Nguyen Thi Ha, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs stressed that training initiatives must be created to ensure that workers can keep their jobs or change careers during the energy transition process.
Ha also expressed her hope that experts share their experiences in tapping the potential of energy transition as well as propose specific solutions related to employment and skills training for Vietnamese workers which align with the goal of the country’s just energy transition.
Experts at the conference also confirmed the urgency of promoting skills development and employment promotion measures in order to realize employment potential during the energy transition.
They also emphasized the need to focus on gender equality and promote the role of women in the energy transition process.
The conference’s participants joined discussions in five areas, including wind energy, solar energy, women in energy, energy efficiency, and e-mobility.
Ta Dinh Thi, vice chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Science, Technology and Environment affirmed that Vietnam is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Vietnam is aware of the importance of developing the necessary skills and is willing to learn from international examples. Vietnam highly appreciates German-Vietnamese cooperation and believes that this relationship will contribute to a just energy transition and a green future for Vietnam,” Thi said.