Air pollution causes VND300 trillion in losses for Vietnam

17-Jan-2020 Intellasia | The SaigonTimes | 7:02 AM Print This Post

Air pollution has cost the Vietnamese economy $10.8-US$13.6 billion per year, equivalent to VND250-300 trillion, Associate Professor Dr Dinh Duc Truong at the National Economics University said at a workshop on January 14.

Speaking at the workshop, which was held in the context of Hanoi’s worsening air pollution, Truong said that the research on damage caused by air pollution has been pursued by the university for 10 years.

The loss was equivalent to 4.5%-5.6 percent of the 2018 gross domestic product, according to the study conducted by Truong, head of the university’s Department of Environment, Climate Change and Urban Studies.

Currently, the economic tool associated with the environmental issue remains simple, mainly based on environmental tariffs.

In 2012, the environment protection tax collected amounted to a mere VND11 trillion. The figure rose to VND43-44 trillion in 2017, quadruple the amount seen in 2012.

However, Vietnam’s spending on environmental protection was limited.

“Vietnam spent VND9 trillion protecting the environment in 2012. Five years later, the figure increased by a mere 1.4-fold,” Truong said. This is a wide gap between environment tax collection and spending.

Truong explained that economic damage caused by air pollution was divided into two groups, with the first being visible damage such as health examination fees and the cost of air purifiers and the second being long-term consequences, including fatalities, the impact of sickness on labour productivity and Vietnam’s reputation.

To address the worsening air pollution, one of the most effective solutions being adopted in many countries is pollution-monitoring infrastructure.

Several firms have put into operation a number of wastewater and garbage treatment plants in Vietnam, but there are no firms engaged in treating polluted air, Truong said.

Besides this, it is necessary to enhance supervision over residents’ environmental protection activities.

Tran Tho Dat, president of National Economics University, pointed out that people’s daily routines and production activities are the main cause of air pollution.

Economic and financial policies that impose environmental taxes on pollution-causing sites and support areas affected by air pollution should be rolled out efficiently to improve the quality of air in a sustainable manner.

According to air quality monitoring app AirVisual, the air quality index (AQI) at 12 monitoring stations in Hanoi City reached purple levels, with the AQI exceeding 200 at 7 a.m. on January 14. trillion-in-losses-for-vietnam.html


Category: Business, Vietnam

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