Obama pledges to ‘support’ Vietnam on climate change

Obama pledges to ‘support’ Vietnam on climate change
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President Obama and his Vietnamese counterpart on Monday vowed to work closely together to reduce carbon emissions and help minimize the impact of climate change on the Southeast Asia nation. 

During a joint press conference in Hanoi, both Obama and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang committed to working together on implementation of the Paris climate deal, which sets carbon emission reduction targets for countries around the world. 

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Obama said the U.S. would also help countries like Vietnam protect their vulnerable populations from the impacts of climate change. 

“We’ll help communities in vulnerable regions like the Mekong Delta adapt to a changing climate and assist Vietnam’s transition to a low-carbon economy,” Obama said. “And that includes the low-carbon energy that will come from our cooperation on civil nuclear power.”

Under the Paris agreement, Vietnam agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent by 2030, lower its emissions relative to its gross domestic product and increase forest cover in the country.

Vietnamese officials won praise from environmentalists in January for halting future coal-fired power plant projects, which Greenpeace said at the time shows “Vietnam is playing its part” in combating climate change. 

The United States has committed to reducing its emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 under the deal. Obama said Monday the climate agreement could take effect quickly as countries begin to ratify it. 

“Because our two countries and others have committed to joining the agreement this year, we’re within striking distance of it entering into force before anybody expected,” he said.