Viet Nam

Climate Risk Country Profile - Vietnam

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KEY MESSAGE

  • Projected temperature increases in Vietnam are similar to the global average, ranging between 1.0°C and 3.4°C by 2080–2099 when compared with the 1986–2005 baseline. The range in possible temperature rises highlights the significant differences between 21st century emissions pathways.

  • Rises in annual maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be stronger than the rise in average temperature, likely amplifying the impacts on human health, livelihoods, and ecosystems.

  • There is considerable uncertainty around future precipitation trends and the intensity of extreme events, in particular due to the current generation of climate models’ poor performance simulating the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

  • Vietnam’s low-lying coastal and river delta regions have very high vulnerability to rising sea-levels. Depending on the emissions pathway 6–12 million people will potentially be affected by coastal flooding by 2070–2100 without effective adaptation action.

  • Climate change is likely to increase the population affected by fluvial flooding, projected to be in the range of 3–9 million people by 2035–2044 depending on the emissions pathway.

  • Losses of agricultural productivity are projected for key food and cash crops, multiple drivers have been proposed, including saline intrusion and shifts in the viable geographical range of plant species.

  • As temperatures rise the increase in heat stress on the Vietnamese population will lead to negative health outcomes, particularly for poorer communities and outdoor laborers.

  • Vietnam faces potentially significant social and economic impacts across multiple regions and sectors. Without effective adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts multidimensional poverty and inequality are likely to increase

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian nation with an extensive coastline and diverse but generally warm climate including temperate and tropical regions. In 2019 Vietnam’s population was estimated at 96.4 million, approximately one third of whom live in the metropolitan areas of its two mega-cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The relative contribution of agriculture, forestry, and fishing to the country’s economy has declined in recent years due to the rapid growth of the industry and service sectors; as of 2017 the agricultural sector contributed 15.3% of gross domestic product, this is somewhat mismatched against an employment contribution of around 40.3% of the country’s labor force (see key country indicators in Table 1). Rice production has a particularly vital role for the country in terms of food security, rural employment and foreign exchange, employing two-thirds of the rural labor force and positioning Vietnam as consistently one of the world’s largest rice exporters. Vietnam’s long coastline, geographic location, and diverse topography and climates contribute to its being one of the most hazard-prone countries of Asia and the Pacific Region. Given that a high proportion of the country’s population and economic assets (including irrigated agriculture) are located in coastal lowlands and deltas and rural areas face issues of poverty and deprivation, Vietnam has been ranked among the five countries likely to be most affected by climate change. It has been estimated that climate change will reduce national income by up to 3.5% by 2050.

Vietnam demonstrates dedication to combating climate change through a range of national policies and concrete adaptation measures. In 2011, the National Climate Change Strategy was issued, outlining the objectives for 2016–2050. In 2012, the National Green Growth Strategy was approved, which includes mitigation targets and measures. In 2013, the Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control was enacted, aiming to address diverse natural hazards that affect the country, which are primarily climate related. Additionally, the 2014 Law on Environment includes a full chapter on climate change. Vietnam ratified the Paris Agreement on November 3, 2016 and the associated Nationally Determined Contribution.

This document aims to succinctly summarize the climate risks faced by Vietnam. This includes rapid onset and long-term changes in key climate parameters, as well as impacts of these changes on communities, livelihoods and economies, many of which are already underway. This is a high-level synthesis of existing research and analyses, focusing on the geographic domain of Vietnam, therefore potentially excluding some international influences and localized impacts. The core data presented is sourced from the database sitting behind the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP), incorporating climate projections from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). This document is primarily meant for WBG and ADB staff to inform their climate actions and to direct them to many useful sources of secondary data and research.

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