Energy Shift Southeast Asia

Analysis of the Vietnam JETP Resource Mobilization Plan

On December 3, 2023, Vietnam launched the Resource Mobilization Plan (RMP) to implement the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) between Vietnam and its International Partners Group (IPG), a group of nine countries co-led by the United Kingdom and the European Union, with Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, and the United States as its members.

A total of USD 15.5 billion in initial finance will be given to Vietnam. A total offer of public finance of USD 8,077.2 million is committed by the IPG, of which USD 321.5 million are grants; USD 2,185 million are sovereign concessional loans; USD 527.7 million are non-sovereign concessional loans; USD 310 million are commercial DFI equity; USD 240 million are commercial DFI guarantees; USD 4,229 million are commercial DFI loans, and USD 264 million are still to be defined. The rest shall be provided by the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), subject to mobilization of the catalytic public sector finance by the IPG members and improved regulatory frameworks. The GFANZ loans will be offered at market rates, and projects will be assessed individually. GFANZ will provide commercial loans which can be structured in different ways depending on the need of the projects.

The JETP RMP focuses on eight action categories: (1) improvement of the regulatory framework for the energy transition; (2) acceleration of transition from coal power to clean energy; (3) development of the industrial and service ecosystem for RE; (4) energy saving and energy efficiency; (5) upgrading of power transmission and energy storage systems; (6) green energy transition and greenhouse gas emissions reduction in the transport sector; (7) innovation, development, and technology transfer; and (8) ensuring a just energy transition. (See Annex 1 for a more detailed breakdown of the actions under the JETP RMP).

To enhance energy transition investments, Vietnam intends to accomplish significant reforms to the Law on Electricity and establish a legal framework to achieve net zero emissions. On transitioning coal power plants, a Coal-Fired Power Plant Retirement Roadmap with an implementation plan and regulatory framework for phase-out will be developed. The roadmap will include the transitioning of coal power generation plants to biogas, green ammonia, or other clean energy sources. On the development of the renewable energy industry, Vietnam intends to promote offshore wind development; increase off-grid, rooftop, and multi-use solar PV installations that integrate net-metering; create a national roadmap on green hydrogen, and develop mechanisms and regional industrial hubs that promote the production, repair, and maintenance of renewable energy equipment; and establish standards for energy efficiency technologies. Vietnam also intends to have a national plan for the development of EV charging infrastructure. 

Vietnam is positioning to establish an International Centre for Renewable Energy to share expertise, support skills development, understand technology and facilitate cooperation with the private sector on technology development, transfer, and RE development acceleration. A renewable energy R&D fund is also planned, including contributions from international organizations, and domestic and foreign businesses.


Financing. While the commitment of USD 15.5 billion in initial financing can accelerate the development of energy and transport systems towards Vietnam’s decarbonization, only USD 321.5 million, or 2.1%, come in the form of grants. The rest come in the form of loans (92.7%), equity (2.0%), guarantees (1.5%), and undefined funding (1.7%).

This implies that while the IPG will provide funding for Vietnam’s energy transition, it will ultimately be the Vietnamese people who will pay for its own energy transition. Around 48% of the loans under the Vietnam JETP will have market-level interest rates, meaning that, after interest, whatever grants or technical assistance were provided by the IFG have already been recovered by the IFG countries. 

Coal phaseout. Vietnam’s explicit declaration of a “coal power plant phase-out” in the RMP and its provision for the creation of a Coal-Fired Power Plant Retirement Roadmap provides an unambiguous policy signal that the Vietnam government is on its track towards zero coal. Its phased implementation, particularly its moratorium on developing new coal-fired power plants after 2030, then focusing on the removal of imported coal in its supply in the short-term after 2035, can cushion the shock to its labor sector, where almost 150 thousand jobs are dependent on coal power generation and coal mining. But the speed of coal phaseout remains questionable, considering that decarbonization projections consistent with a 1.5°C scenario requires much faster coal phaseout timelines. Furthermore, propositions in the Vietnam JETP RMP for co-firing ammonia in coal plants, and the retrofitting of existing coal plants for other fuels, are red flags that prolong, rather than phase out, Vietnam’s coal fleet.

Fossil gas expansion. One of the most concerning aspects of the Vietnam JETP RMP is the inclusion of the “development of mixed gas turbine using LNG that displaces coal” as a key option for accomplishing the transition of coal power generation units (Investment Category 2.2 in the RMP). Considering that fossil gas also emits substantial carbon emissions, and brings the risk of releasing methane in the atmosphere, the consideration of fossil gas to displace coal defeats the main purpose of the coal phaseout. To accomplish decarbonization targets, only clean, renewable energy sources should be considered.

Renewable energy development. A key highlight in the Vietnam JETP RMP is the development of regional industrial hubs to produce, repair, and maintain the new energy systems. This is an important action that will enable Vietnam to wean itself away from importing energy technologies from Global North countries and position itself as an energy technology hub in the region. However, important safeguards, such as intellectual property rights provisions, should be in place for Vietnam to maximize this policy for facilitating a technological transfer that will be advantageous to itself. Likewise, most of RE investment priorities included in the RMP trend toward the development of large-scale, centralized facilities, which risks increasing reports of development aggression and clearing of forested lands and marine habitats to provide room for RE development. The articulation of mechanisms for promoting the development of household- and community-scale RE also remain limited. 

Just transition. Vietnam’s RMP includes provisions on the energy transition’s impacts on workers, communities, and business, and proposes a set of investment priorities that includes social security and support mechanisms, trainings for green job workers, support for Vietnamese businesses to participate in renewable energy value chains, regulations for enabling multi-purpose land use to mitigate land use impacts, targeted development programs for MSMEs and marginalized sectors, and continued support for 100% electrification. Much is commendable to this end. There is, however, a lack of integration of reparatory mechanisms incurred by communities exposed to the coal projects subject to the RMP, and to their future exposure from continued operation of said plants during their continued operation, including in cases of retrofitting. There is a need to ensure that safeguards and safety nets will be implemented in a people-centered manner.

Annex 1: Investment options for JETP

1. Improving the regulatory framework for the energy transition1.1. Develop policy for the energy transition1.2. Link policy reform and priority investment programs
2. The transition of coal power generation2.1. Scale down of coal power generation pipeline2.2. Transition of coal power generation units
3. Developing the renewable energy industry3.1. Development of RE manufacturing industry3.2. Wind power (priority in offshore wind)3.3. Solar PV development (including concentrated solar power, agriculture-solar PV, unlimited solar rooftop systems)3.4. Other RE (hydropower, waste-to-energy, innovative RE)3.5. Production and use of green hydrogen and derivatives
4. Power transmission and energy storage4.1. Power transmission (priority)4.2. Energy storage (priority) 
5. Energy efficiency5.1. Energy saving and efficiency program5.2. EE and electrification in industrial production5.3. EE and electrification in construction sector5.4. EE and electrification in household consumption
6. Energy transition in the transport sector6.1. Green transport policy implementation6.2. Development and adoption of EVs
7. Innovation, development and technology transfer7.1. Center of excellence for RE, energy storage, and EE
8. Ensuring a just transition8.1. Strengthen capacities of workers and local people affected by transition8.2. Creation of jobs through industrial development and local and regional economic development8.3. Policy mechanisms for access to affordable energy for all 

1 Vietnam is currently leading massive gas and liquefied natural gas power expansion in Southeast Asia. This is detailed in the report ‘Confronting a Fossil Future: Stopping the Gas Detour in Renewables-Rich Southeast Asia’, available at
2 A new report from the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) illustrates the air quality impacts of fossil fuel operations, particularly coal, in select sites in the Philippines. Read ‘The Invisible and Fatal” at

Written by Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development