Thailand: (1) Do more to implement current Paris Agreement pledge by demonstrating how plans in different sectors will help achieve Paris goals; (2) Strengthen implementation of the National Master Plan on Climate Change and the Low Carbon City Initiative
Thailand’s INDC emission reduction pledge has an unconditional target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and a conditional target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% from the Business-As-Usual level (BAU) by 2030.
Thailand has very well formulated national plans for reducing emissions, which are included in their INDC. However, there is one area where I feel the INDC can be strengthened: by suggesting how the proposed Plans will actually achieve the INDC pledge. The adaptation plan strategies and national plans are presented in a generalized manner. For instance, they lack specific details about how the INDC pledge of 20% in 2030 from BAU level will be achieved by proposed Plans in place. Furthermore, the NDC does not mention any details about whether the adaptation plan strategies and national plans will be successful in the long-run. This creates a sense of uncertainty about the adaptation plan strategies and national plans in place; and questions thus arise about whether these plans will be able to successfully meet the given INDC pledge. Therefore, for strengthening the INDC’s pledge, the policymakers need to consider two key components. First, they need to recognize how the plans will make the INDC pledge achievable. To do so, the policymakers need to incorporate the national and adaptation plans with the INDC’s 2030 emission reduction targets. This will ensure that the plans are in line with Thailand’s INDC pledge and objectives. The second consideration should address the question whether the plans in place for the INDC will be successful in the long-run. By addressing this question, new strategies and policies for the NDC, which will be successful in the long-term, can be implemented by the policymakers. Addressing these two components will be imperative for developing an INDC that is specific and well-formulated.
One way for Thailand to further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions is through the strengthening of an existing national level policy known as the National Master Plan on Climate Change (2011-2050). This policy was developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The policy’s core objectives are to build capacity for resilient socio-economic development, restructuring economic development towards a low-carbon society, and facilitating sustainable development activities as per the Thai context. This policy, if effectively applied, has great potential for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. For this policy to be effective, it needs to be strengthened further. For instance, the policy only mentions its objectives and does not clearly provide implementation strategies.
Thailand has also formulated a “Low Carbon City” initiative for further decreasing its level of greenhouse gas emissions. The “Low Carbon City” initiative is defined as “a province, city, municipality, or community that pursues a systematic process to achieve GHG emission reductions”. For the “Low Carbon City” initiative, nine step strategies were developed by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) in collaboration with the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thornburi. The city of Muangklang has adopted the steps required to become a low carbon city. Now other cities need to do the same.
To learn more about Thailand’s INDC Pledge, the adaptation plan strategies and national plan, which are in place please visit https://cop21-japanpavilion.iges.jp/program/151203/1515-1645/pdf/cop21-jp-151203-1515-1645-presentation-05.pdf and also visit http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/Thailand%20First/Thailand_INDC.pdf
To learn more about the Thailand’s steps for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions such as the policy on National Master Plan on Climate Change (2011-2050) and Low Carbon City Initiative, please visit https://cdkn.org/2013/03/feature-thailands-low-carbon-city-initiative/?loclang=en_gb