Social Sustainability Dimension of Vietnam’s Green Transformation Policies


Nguyễn Hoàng Khôi
University of Leuven, Belgium. Email:


Green transformation, social sustainability, policy integration, green growth, climate change.


With the introduction of the National Strategy for Climate Change until 2050 and the National Action Plan on Green Growth for Period 2021-2030 in July 2022, Vietnam has demonstrated its commitment to undertake a holistic green transformation to achieve sustainable development, economic prosperity, and net zero emissions. However, it can be observed from the recent flurry of ‘green’ media and commercial activities that economic and environmental goals have received far more attention compared to social ones. If true, this can significantly complicate the success of the green transformation, since social sustainability helps to ensure a just transition, secure broad popular acceptance, and improve resilience. This paper attempts to verify this observation by assessing the embeddedness of social sustainability principles in Vietnam’s major green transformation policies. Employing a widely referenced analytical framework, four principles are used to assess social sustainability integration: equity, awareness, participation, and social cohesion. The outcome shows strong fluctuations with some principles being particularly strong and others underrepresented. This reflects the fast-changing policy landscape, the complexity of harmonising new strategies with sectoral policies, and a general lack of attention to the social dimension. Future research should explore written social sustainability commitments and various forms of policy integration.

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1. Thủ tướng Chính phủ (2021), Quyết định số 1658/QĐ-TTg ngày 1 tháng 10 năm 2021 Phê duyệt Chiến lược Quốc gia về tăng trưởng xanh giai đoạn 2021-2030, tầm nhìn 2050, Hà Nội, 21 trang. [Prime

Minister of Government (2021), Decision No.1658/QD-TTg dated 1 October 2021 on Approving National Green Growth Strategy for Period 2021-2030, Vision Towards 2050, Hanoi, 21 pages].

2. Thủ tướng Chính phủ (
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