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Marginal Abatement Cost Curves to Assess Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Actions for a Fast-Growing Economy: A Case Study of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Highlights: Greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, fast growing economies, marginal abatement costs.

Dr Vuong conducted this project in collaboration with colleagues at The University of Queensland, and at the Center for Sustainable Energy Research, Institute of Energy Science, Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam. In this project, Dr Vuong carried out the analysis of the data which were collected by colleagues in Vietnam. He led the writing of the manuscript published in Case Studies in the Environment. He translated documents from Vietnamese to English when necessary.

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest population and economic centre of Vietnam. Since the 1990s, the economy of Ho Chi Minh City has expanded at a tremendous rate, far outpacing the average growing rate of Vietnam. The consumption of energy and greenhouse gas emissions has also increased at an unsustainable rate. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions was not in line with Vietnam’s green growth action plan, nor the country’s commitment (Nationally Determined Contribution) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement.

In this work, a significant amount of data was collected from statistical offices, government departments, economic development plans and energy development plans. These data were analysed to build emission inventories for Ho Chi Minh City from 2011 to 2020. A range of emission reduction actions (38 actions) were proposed and marginal costs of these actions were determined for the two main economic sectors, energy (32 actions), agriculture, forestry, and other land use (6 actions) using the expert-based approach. Marginal Abatement Cost Curve, a tool to provide easy visualisation and comparison of different marginal costs, was constructed for the energy sector.

If all proposed actions were implemented, a 15% reduction (nearly 9.0 million tCO2e) in GHG emissions would be achieved when compared to the business-as-usual situation. Even when the city only implemented actions with negative marginal costs (i.e., abatement that saves money), significant reductions of 5.25 MtCO2e (8.6% reduction) compared to business-as-usual. A comparison between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi city’s reduction opportunities highlight significant similarities between these two largest cities of Vietnam. In short, the study shows that significant greenhouse emissions can be achieved in fast-growing cities.

Publication: K. Q. Vuong, N. H. Nguyen, Q. L. Luu, H. T. Nguyen, H. T. D. Nguyen, B. V. Doan and P. Dargusch, Emission Reduction Opportunities in a Rapidly Growing Economy: A Case Study of Ho Chi Minh City, Case Studies in the Environment, 2020, 4(1), 961967.

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