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A foEEP Mekong promotes renewable energy developmentrum in Hanoi on November 20 discussed policies aimed at encouraging the development of renewable energy in the Mekong sub-region.

The forum, co-organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Embassy of Finland, intends to engender cooperation on the environment and energy among the Mekong sub-region nations.

Finnish Ambassador, Kimmo Lodevirta, said that the Energy and Environment Program (EEP), the Finnish Government’s policy designed to support the development of safe energy, is available in 25 nations around the world and contributes to the desired reduction of green house gas emissions.

Mekong sub-region nations such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam have implemented the EEP Mekong to promote renewable energy and the effective investment in renewable energy projects as a pathway to advanced technologies, improved capacity, and productive pilot projects.

The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Northern European Development Fund are committed to providing EUR7.9 million over the 2012-2016 period to safe energy projects and minimising water, soil, and other environmental pollution.

MoIT Deputy Minister Le Duong Quang emphasised the challenges Vietnam is facing, including the worsening fossil fuel shortage and climate change. It is crucial to devise policies promoting the development of this kind of safe energy, he said.

The forum facilitated the sharing of information related to potential solutions prioritising renewable energy in the Mekong sub-region and in Vietnam in particular. It is also an ideal location for partners to seek financial and technical support.

Pham Trong Thuc, Head of the Department of New and Renewable Energy Department under the MoIT, concurred with the need to perfect the policy mechanisms bolstering the development of renewable energy. Vietnam should establish a renewable energy fund to maximise the chances of success, he suggested.

He affirmed that the development of renewable energy is one solution to Vietnam’s increasing energy demands and the strain it places on maintaining energy security—especially concerning remote areas and islands.

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