Task2 - Environment >> Toxic Spills & Green Future

"Toxic Spills & Green Future"

Vietnam has experienced an unfortunate history of environmental pollution. The mass fish die-offs in 2016 caused by toxic waste from the steel plant of Formosa Plastics, a unit of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group, raised public awareness of environmental issues. This nation, which is still recovering from the effects of DDT toxins released during the war, has had enough. Moving forward, Vietnam is welcoming foreign investment, but has changed in terms of its more recent focus on Foreign Direct Investment with green credibility.

Understandably, the local community, particularly fisherman, were outraged by the environmental vandalism committed by Formosa Plastics Group. Compensation has been sought, and the regulator has promised to do more in terms of providing environmental protections.

Currently, Vietnam is similar to Japan in the 1970s, when the Japanese experienced serious pollution problems. However, more Vietnamese companies are now putting the environment before costs under government guidance, which has provided business opportunities for related industries. Thailand's solar power company Superblock plans to begin a joint venture with a Vietnamese company to start operating a total of six wind power plants generating 700MW of electricity in the sunny southern provinces of the country by 2019.

The Vietnamese government is also focusing on renewable energy, amid criticism of the country's dependence on coal-fired thermal power plants. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the country will not promote economic development at the expense of the environment at a recent investment promotion event. The Prime Minister's comment symbolizes a shift in Vietnam's policy of putting the economy before the environment since the 2000s.

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