Science & Technology

Net Zero Challenge Launches in Vietnam

Touchstone Partners and Temasek Foundation have launched a climate technology innovations competition for startups in Vietnam

Net Zero Challenge Launches in Vietnam

The Net Zero Challenge 2023 competition started on Aug.21, with the HCMC Institute for Development Studies (HIDS) support. Participant teams can submit their climate-tech solution projects by October 15.

The event, organized by Touchstone Partners and Temasek Foundation is aimed at Vietnamese tech startups. Besides them, the platform’s goal is to unite government agencies, industry leaders, and investors with a single purpose – to promote innovation in sustainable technologies, thus, helping the country reach its net zero goals.

The founders are willing to provide monetary grants to the three best climate innovations presented within the framework of the competition. The solutions will be divided into three main categories: renewables and carbon removal, food systems and sustainable agriculture, circular economy and waste management. Each category will get a separate winner.

Teams will compete for a total prize pool of VND 15 billion to pilot their solutions in Vietnam, gain access to investors on a global scale, and more. Only those teams that have developed a minimally viable product pilot and aim to commercialize it are eligible to join.

According to Climate Action Tracker, Vietnam’s current policies and actions towards its climate goals are rated “Critically insufficient” when compared to its fair share contribution. It is estimated that Vietnam’s emissions in 2030 under current policies and action will be around 118-150% above 2010 levels.

In 2022, the country took a few critical steps to accelerate the transition to net zero. Last January, Vietnam introduced a new Law on Environmental Protection that creates a domestic carbon market with an emissions trading scheme. In July 2022, the local government passed its National Climate Change Strategy to 2050 into law, calling for a gradual transition from coal-fired power to cleaner energy sources.

At the same time, these policy changes are insufficient without the involvement of the private sector, which can be stimulated by programs similar to Net Zero Challenge 2023. 

Touchstone Partners is an Indian corporate law firm that advises national and multinational corporations and financial institutions about corporate law and transnational mergers and acquisitions.

Temasek Foundation International is a Singapore-based non-profit organisation under the philanthropic arm of the Singapore state sovereign fund Temasek Holdings.

In May, Clime Capital and Touchstone Partners announced a joint $2 million investment into an innovative cleantech company Stride operating in Vietnam.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.