Energy transition and climate-smart agriculture in Vietnam (ETCAV)

This project aims to help fill this gap in the literature, with the overall goal of contributing to policy discussions and actions, addressing the key defining economic and political issue of our time.

How can a developing economy reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to cleaner and renewable energy sources while growing industrial and agricultural output?

The relationship between economic growth and environmental quality is a seminal theme in the development profession, but a key analytical element is missing. The underlying mechanisms are underexplored.

There is wide acknowledgement of the deleterious impacts of GHG emissions and pollution on the environment, climate change, economic growth, and health. Similarly, there is agreement that these impacts are more severe in the Global South.

At the same time, there is limited empirical literature on the feasibility and implications of energy transition in firms and households, and the effectiveness of efforts to reduce emissions in the agricultural sector.


We will address the three societal challenges, expressed in the following core research questions:

  • Are state-owned enterprises sources of emission-reducing knowledge and technology transfers to private enterprises?
  • What are the direct and indirect gendered benefits of households switching to clean, renewable energy, including those related to health, and household time budgets?
  • Can financial incentives and information provision reduce crop residue burning and improve farmer wellbeing?



The partnership encapsulates a high degree of engagement with the local policy environment and ensures that the project findings will be directly available to the most relevant public and private stakeholders with nationwide outreach and impact.


This project links closely to UN SDG Goals 7, 12 and 13, and is implemented between the University of Copenhagen and two primary Vietnamese partners, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), the main think-tank in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), the key research institute under Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

The Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI), a recognized independent, private research organization, is a secondary partner (service provider). IPSARD and CIEM are public institutions with long-standing experience in policy-relevant research and the drafting of a wide range of legal policy documents including development strategies and plans, laws, decrees and other government decisions. They are central to the policymaking processes in Vietnam in the areas addressed by ETCAV.



Name Title Job responsibilities Image
Finn Tarp Professor Development Economics; Poverty; Income Distribution and Growth; Micro- and Macroeconomic Policy and Modeling Billede af Finn Tarp
John Rand Professor Development Economics; Applied Econometrics; Impact Evaluation; Firm-Level Analysis and Industrial Policy; Cross-Disciplinary Methods Billede af John Rand

Funded by:

The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, through the Danida Fellowship Center.

Period:  1 April 2024 - 31 December 2028.


PI, Finn Tarp

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External members:

Lancaster University

Saurabh Singhal - Associate Professor

Newcastle University

Smriti Sharma - Associate Professor

Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM)

Dang Thi Thu Hoai - Director Sectoral Policies
Do Thi Thu Thuy - Researcher

Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development University of Social (IPSARD)

Tran Cong Thang Pham - Director General
Truong Thi Thu Trang - Director Center for Agricultural Policy
Nguyen Le Hoa - Director Strategy and Policy Study
Bui Thi Viet Anh - Researcher

Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI)

Phung Duc Tung - Director
Nguyen Viet Cuong - Deputy-Director
Ngo Ha Quyen - Project manager
Le Nguyen Que Huong - PhD Student
Le Thi Ly - Research Analyst MSc PhD candidate