By: Stephen Tyler, ISET-International.
Provincial governments and national-level cities need to update their Climate Action Plans, according to MoNRE’s recent guidelines. But an ISET-led study suggests the greatest weakness of Climate Action Plans is that they are not tied to local implementation measures.
The study looked at the experience of 9 provinces with local Climate Action Plans (CAP) completed between 2011 and 2013. The comparison shows that the quality of the plans varies a lot between different provinces. The best examples of CAPs compare favourably with good international practices, but other plans have weak vulnerability or risk assessments, or limited treatment of uncertainty, variability and extreme events in climate projections. Most of the CAPs were not well linked to other government planning and expenditure measures, like Socio-Economic Development Plans or sectoral plans.
Even if the Climate Action Plans are well prepared, they cannot be implemented if they are not linked to other local planning and development controls. Recent national policy decisions such as the Ministry of Planning and Investment Decision 1485 QĐ-BKHĐT (Oct. 17, 2013) and the Ministry of Construction Decision 2623 QĐ-BXD (Dec. 31, 2013) require local governments to consider climate change in their planning activities. More effort needs to be made to ensure that Climate Action Plan recommendations are carefully prioritized and confirmed by local leaders so that they can be implemented through other local planning and public expenditure mechanisms that already exist.
There is increasing national and international interest in funding practical, high priority climate adaptation measures at the local level. But local governments need to use their Climate Action Plans to demonstrate they have thoroughly analyzed climate vulnerabilities and risks in order to justify priority projects. The Climate Action Plan is a key tool for local governments to reduce their climate risks.