At the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference in 2021, Vietnam pledged to phase out coal power by the 2040s and achieve Net Zero by 2050.
Net Zero carbon dioxide emissions, or carbon neutrality, requires the elimination of carbon dioxide emissions by burning fossil fuels, or balancing emissions with their removal. To achieve this ambitious goal, Vietnam is accelerating the adoption of renewable energies.
To raise public awareness of Vietnam’s energy transition, the media in Vietnam have covered energy issues widely, especially on the heels of Vietnam’s Net Zero pledge. However, Climate Tracker’s recent study of Coal and Renewable Energy Reporting in Vietnam found that more than 70% of energy stories appear in the economy or business sections, mostly in the form of news updates, and few quoted community voices.
Journalists in Vietnam also face challenges in terms of knowledge, capacity and resources. Climate change and energy transition is a complex issue, cutting across environmental science, finance, technology, public infrastructure development and health. To report accurately and effectively on energy issues, journalists require a good grasp of the technical knowledge of the various energy sources. They must keep up with evolving climate change science and technology, and stay up to date with the latest pricing and policies incentivizing renewable energy sources.
To meet this need, the Earth Journalism Network (EJN) has launched a new project, Reporting on Vietnam’s Pathways to Net Zero, to improve the quality and quantity of reporting on renewable energies in Vietnam.
This project will:
- Assess the reporting needs of local journalists and strengthen their capacity to report on renewable energy sources.
- Organize a media training workshop on renewable energy reporting for journalists in Vietnam.
- Offer story grants and mentorship support to journalists to produce good quality and engaging human-interest media stories on renewable energies and the energy landscape. Journalists will be encouraged to delve deeper into data sources and analysis, and to amplify community voices in their stories.
It is expected that this project will:
- Identify the challenges and needs of journalists in Vietnam when reporting on energy transition and renewable energy.
- Strengthen the knowledge and skills of journalists covering these topics in Vietnam.
- Improve the quality and quantity of energy reporting in Vietnam.
Banner image: Solar panels in Vietnam / Credit: Yen Duong for Al Jazeera.