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Lao People's Democratic Republic

Vientiane, Laos

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UNFCCC logo.png


Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) -- 2015

UN Circle 1.jpg Laos' INDC plan -


[Wikipedia] The Lao People's Democratic Republic, along with China, Cuba and Vietnam, is one of the world's four or five remaining socialist states that openly espouse Communism.

Laos is increasingly suffering from environmental problems, with deforestation a particularly significant issue, as expanding commercial exploitation of the forests, plans for additional hydroelectric facilities, foreign demand for wild animals and nonwood forest products for food and traditional medicines, and a growing population all create increasing pressure.

The United Nations Development Programme warns that: "Protecting the environment and sustainable use of natural resources in Lao PDR is vital for poverty reduction and economic growth."

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[From the Laos INDC]

National Context

Lao PDR has a long term goal for national development which is set out in the 8th Five Year National Socio-economic Plan (2016-2020), with a Vision to 2030. According to this vision, the goal is for Lao PDR to make the transition from a Least Developed Country (LDC) to a middle income country by 2030 supported by inclusive, stable and sustainable economic growth whilst alleviating poverty. Lao PDR recognises the strong link between economic development,sustainability and the need to mainstream environmental considerations, including action on climate change into its development plans.

The Climate Change and Disaster Law is being developed and the overarching legal framework for climate change and disaster management is provided in the law. The law is expected to be approved in 2017.

The National Strategy on Climate Change (NSCC) of Lao PDR was approved in early 2010, and states a vision on how to address climate change:

In addition to the overarching strategy set out in the NCCS, climate change action plans for the period 2013-2020 define mitigation and adaptation actions in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, land use change, water resources, energy, transportation, industry and public health.

Lao PDR is highly climate-vulnerable, and the country’s greenhouse (GHG) emissions were only 51,000 Gg2 in the year 2000, which is negligible compared to total global emissions. Despite this, Lao PDR has ambitious plans to reduce its GHG emissions while at the same time increasing its resilience to the negative impacts of climate change. Examples of such plans include the following:

 An ambitious target is set out in the National Forestry Strategy to the Year 2020 for increasing forest cover to a total of 70% of land area by 2020, and maintaining it at that level going forward. This will reduce the risk of floods and prevent land degradation, yet at the same time the greenhouse gas mitigation potential of such a target is substantial and long lasting.

 In terms of Lao PDR’s large scale electricity generation, the electricity grid draws on renewable resources for almost 100% of its output. Lao PDR also aims at utilising unexploited hydropower resources to export clean electricity to its neighbours. By supplying neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Viet Nam, Thailand and Singapore with hydroelectricity, Lao PDR is enabling other countries in South East Asia to develop and industrialise in a sustainable manner.

 The Government of Lao PDR has also laid the foundations for the implementation a renewable energy strategy that aims to increase the share of small scale renewable energy to 30% of total energy consumption by 2030.

1. National Strategy on Climate Change (NSCC) (2010). Available at:

2. The latest GHG inventory in Laos presented in the Second National Communication on Climate Change of Lao PDR (2013) used data of the year 2000.

“To secure a future where Lao PDR is capable of mitigating and adapting to changing climatic conditions in a way that promotes sustainable economic development, reduces poverty, protects public health and safety, enhances the quality of Lao PDR’s natural environment, and advances the quality of life for all Lao People”


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