7.3 Vietnam

7.3.1 Introduction

The Vietnam Government's environmental policies are established through the Law on Environmental Protection (1993) and associated regulations and guidelines and administered by the Ministry for Natural Resources and the Environment. The objective of the Law is to provide environmental protection, including

… activities aimed at preserving a healthy, clean and beautiful environment, improving the environment, ensuring ecological balance, preventing and overcoming adverse impacts of man and nature on the environment, making a rational and economical exploitation and utilisation of natural resources.

A key feature of the policy is the need to prepare and consider a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or an Environmental Protection Commitment.

SEA requirements are set out in Chapter III, Article 16 of the Law on Environmental Protection (1993) and must comprise:

Article 16 — Contents of strategic environmental assessment reports

  1. Overview of the project's objectives, size and characteristics related to the environment.
  2. General description of natural, socio-economic and environmental conditions related to the project.
  3. Forecasts for possible bad environmental impacts when the project is executed.
  4. Citation of sources of figures and data, methods of assessment.
  5. Proposed orientations and measures to address environmental issues during project execution.

EIA requirements are set out in Chapter III, Article 18 of the Law on Environmental Protection (1993). The EIA involves:

… the process of analysing, evaluating and forecasting the effects on the environment by socio-economic development projects and plans, by production and business establishments, and economic, scientific, technical, medical, cultural, social, security, defence or other facilities, and proposing appropriate solutions to protect the environment.

The Vietnamese Government promulgates a list of activities for which EIAs are required. CO2 transport and storage is not currently a listed activity. It is likely that any CO2 transport and storage activities would need to be included in this list before even being considered for approval for development in Vietnam. The rest of these sections proceed on the assumption that this is the case.

Household-based production, business or service establishments and entities not defined in Articles 14 and 18 of the Law on Environmental Protection (1993) must make written environmental protection commitments. Such commitments involve "measures to minimise and treat wastes and strictly comply with the provisions of law on environmental protection" and are generally for small-scale activities.

7.3.2 Regulations that might assist

The clearest assistance that can be provided by Vietnam's environmental policies, legislation and regulation that might positively assist in facilitating CO2 transport and storage in Vietnam would be the inclusion of CO2 transport and storage as a listed activity under the Law on Environmental Protection (1993).

This would allow CO2 transport and storage activities to proceed through consideration under the SEA and EIA processes and potentially be approved for development. It should be noted that such a process, while vital to facilitating CO2 transport and storage in Vietnam, would be secondary to establishing a legislative and regulatory framework for CO2 transport and storage activities, including titling and permitting arrangements.

7.3.3 Obstacles

Directly related to the section above, the major hindrance is the fact that CO2 transport and storage is not listed as an activity under the Law on Environmental Protection (1993) and therefore likely to be unable to proceed through the SEA and EIA processes. This is likely to represent a significant impediment to moving forward with CO2 transport and storage activities in Vietnam.

As with the section above, it should be noted that such a process, while vital to facilitating CO2 transport and storage in Vietnam, would be secondary to establishing a legislative and regulatory framework for CO2 transport and storage activities, including titling and permitting arrangements.

7.3.4 Omissions

The main omission, then, relates to the omission of CO2 transport and storage as an activity promulgated under the Law on Environmental Protection (1993).

The treatment of CO2 transport and storage under the Law on Environmental Protection (1993) should be seen as an element of the legislative and regulatory framework that would need to be developed and implemented in Vietnam before such activities could proceed.

In addition, consideration could be given to including CO2 storage and transport activities as eligible for one or more environmental incentives in Vietnam.