Japanese and South Korean LNG Industries and Vietnam’s Energy Transition

An InfluenceMap Report

June 2022

How Japanese and South Korean Industry Interests are Shaping Vietnam’s Climate and Energy Policy


See coverage in Climate Home News

This new report by InfluenceMap finds that, despite the ambitious 2050 carbon neutrality commitment by the Vietnamese government during COP26, Japanese and South Korean industry players continue to advocate for new investment into liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure in Vietnam.

  • The report analyzes the climate policy engagement activities in Vietnam of six Japanese companies (JERA, Mitsubishi Corporation, Marubeni, Mitsui & Co, Sumitomo Corp, Tokyo Gas), five Korean companies (GS Energy, Hanwha Energy, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Korea Southern Power (KOSPO), Samsung C&T) and eight industry groups. The study identifies a variety of influencing tactics, including direct advocacy to Vietnamese policymakers to support investment in new LNG infrastructure within Vietnam’s Power Development Plan 8 (PDP8), influence on home country governments to support LNG export policy, and high-level messaging in the region to capture the wider narrative concerning the need for LNG in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
  • While there is limited transparency and direct disclosure concerning their policy engagement activities in Vietnam, Japanese and South Korean companies appear to utilize a dense network of industry associations and business forums to engage with Vietnamese policymakers. The Japanese and Korean business chambers in Vietnam have consistently called on the government to fast-track and approve new LNG infrastructure projects through PDP8 and other regulatory mechanisms.

  • The report identifies a range of messaging tactics used by the gas industry to promote unabated fossil gas in Asia as a solution to the region's energy transition needs. They appear to be part of a wider ‘playbook’ used to promote fossil gas for the Asia region by international gas entities and have undergone an evolution in recent years. Since COP26, there has been a significant increase in industry references to LNG as a ‘low carbon’ solution to Vietnam’s energy transition goals. The strategies used in the Asia Pacific region appear to mirror those used by the gas industry globally, raising concerns about the wider impacts on achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement in alignment with IPCC science.

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