Research uptake
Assessing the implications of climate change in Vietnam

As part of the Development Under Climate Change (DUCC) project, UNU-WIDER conducted the first ever comprehensive assessment of the implications of climate change for growth and development prospects for Vietnam in collaboration with Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and with assistance from the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment and the University of Copenhagen. CIEM is the premier economics think tank within the government of Vietnam. Their analyses feed directly to the highest levels of government including the Central Committee.

At the port of Saigon, boat traffic on the Saigon River.

At the port of Saigon, boat traffic on the Saigon River.The full report on the implications of climate change for economic growth and development in Vietnam to 2015 is available in both English and Vietnamese and can be downloaded here.

The analysis for Vietnam produced two principal messages. First, in the relatively near term, while specific groups and/or sectors within specific regions are likely to suffer from climate change, the implications of climate change are unlikely to dramatically alter Vietnam's growth and development prospects at least for the next two to three decades. Second, the combined implications of sea level rise and cyclone strike represent a grave threat to Vietnam, especially but not uniquely the Mekong River Delta, in the latter half of the 21st0th century. The key lessons are: (a) smart targeted investments in the near term can ameliorate impacts on vulnerable groups and help prepare for stronger impacts later in the century; and (b) gradually channelling economic development towards regions less imperilled by sea level rise likely represents a highly cost effective means for circumscribing the scope of the eventual problem. These lessons have been heard and absorbed at high levels of CIEM and within the government of Vietnam individuals generally, implying that more optimal investment decisions are being taken.