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Businesses urged to develop green energy plan

HO CHI MINH CITY, Dec. 29 — Businesses must save energy, protect the ecosystem and take steps to deal with climate change while maintaining development, experts told attendees at a forum held Wednesday here.

"This forum will discuss initiatives and plans to develop green businesses, a friendly environment, energy-savings, and carbon-emissions reductions," said Professor Nguyen Ngoc Tran, head of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Development Research Centre.

Discussions centered on the participation of corporations in communication activities to raise awareness of green energy.

Other topics included support of local communities affected by climate change in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta and building of long-term operational mechanisms to respond to climate change in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

"The green race has started between countries to transform to low-carbon economies and to become the leading supplier of resource-efficient technologies and solutions. Viet Nam must not stand outside of this trend," said Nguyen Quang Vinh, the general secretary of the Viet Nam Business Council for Sustainable Development.

China has invested 21 percent of their US$ 162 billion global investments in clean energy, while Korea has the largest share (80 percent) of economic stimulus devoted to the green sector.

Energy-saving methods can help enterprises reduce expenditures and protect the environment at the same time.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, released figures on Tuesday on current energy usage and the potential to save energy in the cement, iron and textile sectors.

"Between 1998 and 2006, energy spending increased three times, with 45 percent belonging to industry. However, efficiency in using energy in heavy industry is very low, with 75 percent of plants wasting energy," said Phuong Hoang Kim, head of the Energy General Department's science, technology and energy-efficiency department.

To improve the situation, the IFC promotes greater energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cleaner production methods and awareness through the Viet Nam Energy Efficiency and Cleaner Production (EECP).

The program aims to reduce emissions and improve the use of natural resources by increasing available financing for sustainable energy investments.

The project works with selected banks to build their sustainable energy portfolios and tailored financing products.

EECP targets enterprises that are looking to upgrade inefficient production systems and introduce new and clean technologies that will help them reduce costs and raise productivity and environmental performance through increased energy efficiencies.

The project also seeks to establish and expand Viet Nam's current network of technical service providers able to deliver training and services to banks and enterprises nationwide. (PNA/VNS)

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