Energy transition and climate-smart agriculture in Vietnam (ETCAV)

Project summary

How can a developing economy reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to cleaner and renewable energy sources while growing industrial and agricultural output? The relationship between economic growth and environmental quality is a seminal theme in the development profession, but a key analytical element is missing. The underlying mechanisms are underexplored. There is wide acknowledgement of the deleterious impacts of GHG emissions and pollution on the environment, climate change, economic growth, and health. Similarly, there is agreement that these impacts are more severe in the Global South. At the same time, there is limited empirical literature on the feasibility and implications of energy transition in firms and households, and the effectiveness of efforts to reduce emissions in the agricultural sector. This project on energy transition and climate-smart agriculture in Vietnam aims to help fill this gap in the literature, with the overall goal of contributing to policy discussions and actions, addressing the key defining economic and political issue of our time.

More specifically, we will address three societal challenges, expressed in the following core research questions: (i) Are state-owned enterprises sources of emission-reducing knowledge and technology transfers to private enterprises?; (ii) What are the direct and indirect gendered benefits of households switching to clean, renewable energy, including those related to health, and household time budgets?; and (iii) Can financial incentives and market linkages reduce crop residue burning and improve farmer wellbeing?

This project links closely to UN SDG Goals 7, 12 and 13, and is a partnership between the Development Economics Research Group at the University of Copenhagen, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development at the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, and the Central Institute for Economic Management under the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam. A private service provider will also support the project. The partnership encapsulates a high degree of engagement with the local policy environment and ensures that project findings will be directly available to the most relevant public and private stakeholders in Vietnam with nationwide outreach and impact.

Research capacity strengthening is a core element of the project: activities include technical training workshops and the training of two Vietnamese PhD students.

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