The Vietnam Climate Leadership Camp (VCLC) aims to empower 35 young activists in South Vietnam where has been experiencing climate impacts like sea level rise, drought and salinization. The camp will provide the participants with knowledge about climate change, its relation to energy and campaigning skillsets. Upon returning to their own provinces, each participant will initiate local campaigns in 2018 to build momentum for stopping coal expansion and advocating renewable energy (RE) use.
Burning coal is one of the biggest man-made sources of CO2 emissions. Yet most of Vietnam's policy makers believe that coal is the answer to the country's economic development and therefore the continuing investment in coal power plants. Meanwhile the level of understanding about coal pollution, climate change mitigation and the role of community in tackling these challenges is low among the public. Hence the social consensus to urge the government to shift from coal to RE is hardly formed.
To build stronger social consensus to stop coal and champion RE, in the camp we will strive to #build capacity (campaigning skillsets: community organizing, communications and project management) for the local young climate activists who will carry out the campaigns in communities affected by climate change and coal power plants #provide local young activists with tools and tactics to strategically fight against coal expansion in their provinces #build a network of campaigners in the south.
The follow-up campaigns are expected to include but not limited to training, workshop, community gathering for the local kids/youth to understand the risks that they are facing, like land salinization and health impacts (PM2.5 pollution) by coal power plants. To build the bottom-up voices to urge the government to shift from coal to RE is key to energy reform; therefore participants of the camp will be the change agents to further amplify the message of stopping coal and using RE in Vietnam.