By VIET NAM NEWS
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Provincial authorities said they would replace the power plant with a hi-tech agricultural zone for breeding shrimp.
They said a clean environment was needed to promote intensive shrimp farming, which is an economic mainstay.
Building a thermal power plant would make it difficult to keep the environment clean, the chairman of Mekong Delta province told the Dat Viet online newspaper.
Tran Du Lich, a member of the National Advisory Council on Financial and Monetary Policy, said several other provinces and cities including Binh Dinh have rejected projects that could severely pollute the environment.
Since the Formosa company discharged toxic waste, killing a large quantity of fish in the ocean last year, authorities and leaders have become determined not to swap the environment for growth, he said.
National leaders have set environmental protection as the first priority in the new model of development, he said.
“Because the cost for restoring a badly polluted environment is very high, and in some cases, impossible.”
That is the reason why the government plans to develop alternative energy to reduce waste and pollution as well as the impact thermal and hydro power plants have on forests, he said.
A national electricity development plant for the 2011-20 period, for instance, includes a strategic priority for renewable energy, with targets including wind power capacity of 800 megawatts by 2020 and 6 gigawatts by 2030.
Development of alternative energy sources is one of the strategies the country has to pursue to ensure green growth, he said.
At the spring forum held by the Asia Business Council in February in Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue reiterated that the country’s new growth model does not ignore environmental standards and social fairness. In its national action plan on green growth issued in 2010, the government also had shown awareness of the issue.
The plan aims to promote restructuring and improve economic institutions towards more efficient use of natural resources and improved economic competitiveness, said Pham Hoang Mai, director-general of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
This will contribute to better climate change adaptation, greenhouse gas reduction and alleviation, thus facilitating sustainable economic development, he said.
The plan sees greenhouse gas emissions unconditionally reduced by 8 per cent by 2030, he said. The figure would increase to 25 per cent with more international support.
Energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product will be reduced by 1 percentage point to 1.5 per cent each year by 2020.
The plan also focuses on other strategies to encourage the development of green industries and green agriculture based on environmentally friendly structures, technologies and equipment, he said.
Many free trade agreements like the one with the EU will force enterprises to change technologies towards green production.
The plan also envisages promoting a greener lifestyle and sustainable consumption, he said.