The Missing “Just” in Vietnam’s Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP)

Defending Defenders

A new in-depth report about Vietnam’s Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) was released in June 2024, outlining the problems with the financing, governance, energy solutions, and participation necessary to achieve a truly just transition.

The report, ‘The Missing “Just” in Vietnam’s Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP),’ [MOU1] examines Vietnam’s transition away from coal-based energy from a “just” perspective, and the obstacles standing in the way. It was commissioned by International Rivers on behalf of the Vietnam Climate Defenders Coalition, a group of over 30 international and regional environmental, climate justice, and human rights organizations. 

The report was released exactly one week prior to the third anniversary of environmental defender and lawyer Mr. Dang Dinh Bach’s unjust imprisonment. He is currently serving a five-year sentence on trumped up charges. Serving three years in prison is also former Obama Foundation scholar, Hoang Thi Minh Hong, founder and former Director of the nonprofit CHANGE Vietnam. 

Mr. Bach and Ms. Hong are two of six climate leaders who have been targeted and imprisoned in Vietnam, severely limiting – if not eliminating – genuine opportunities for consultation with civil society, an essential part of the JETP as set out in the Political Declaration establishing the partnership. Further, the arrests and wider fears of persecution in the environmental and energy sectors have restricted access to information, transparency and public participation in Vietnam’s energy transition process.