Vietnam Faces Watershed Moment ahead of COP26

In a speech at the UN Security Council, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam, reminded member nations that sea level rise is a major threat for coastal nations, including the lowlands of China, Bangladesh, Indonesian islands, Philippine archipelagos and Vietnam.

Other delegates lauded Quy’s initiative since it signals Vietnam’s preparation for next month’s pivotal climate change summit in Glasgow, called COP26, which is expected to set the course of climate action for the next decade.

The science on sea level rise cannot be ignored in Asia. Millions of lives are situated along coastal waters. For Vietnam, their Mekong River Delta is a vast spread of fertile riverbeds, islets, and mangrove swamps at the end of the Mekong River. It is now among the most vulnerable regions in South Vietnam and home to more than 20 million people, who produce almost half of the country’s rice harvest. One million hectares of land are regularly affected by flooding due to ocean tides. Crops and people’s livelihoods are now at stake.

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James Borton