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.

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.

More specifically, we will address 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?

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.

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.

Finally, research capacity strengthening is a core element of the project: activities include technical training workshops and the training of two Vietnamese PhD students.

Project Period

1 April 2024 - 31 December 2028.

Project Budget

Total project budget = 10,000,000 DKK of which UCPH receives half.


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