Thailand Checkup

Thailand—Falling Behind

Thailand signed the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016 and ratified the Paris Agreement on September 21, 2016. Even before the Paris Agreement ratification, Thailand became a member of the Kyoto Protocol, which was developed in 1997 and came into force in February 16, 2005. Thailand as a member of non-annex party (group of developing countries) ratified the Kyoto Protocol on August 28, 2002 and made the pledge to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 to 2012 by at least 5 percent below 1990 levels. Thailand also made a commitment under the “Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol”, which is from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2020 and it aims at meeting an overall emissions reduction target of at least 18 percent below the 1990 levels.

Within the given time period from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2020; non-annex countries such as Thailand have the option of establishing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. From the timeframe 2005 to 2020, as an Annex 1 Party’s commitment for the Kyoto Protocol, Thailand was involved in the facilitation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects (Saiyasitpanich, 2017). The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) mentioned in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol will allow developed Annex B countries with an emission reduction or emission limitation commitment to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries like Thailand. Examples of CDM activities, which are already in-place in Thailand along with other developing countries typically include rural electrification projects using solar panels and the installation of more energy efficient boilers.
Thailand’s pledge in the Kyoto Protocol compliments the pledge made in the Paris Agreement. This is because both the pledges are still active. The facilitation of CDM projects and at least 5 to 18% emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol will significantly help in successfully achieving the emissions reduction target of 20% for the Paris Agreement.

Thailand’s Paris Agreement INDC pledge was drafted by The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The implementation of Thailand’s INDC is regularly monitored by the Thai Government and the UNFCCC. Either group can suggest changes to their INDC, which are then made and finalized by ONEP. The government of Thailand is also responsible for formulating plans in the INDC.  For instance, the government intends to make necessary changes to its INDC plans so that the plans adhere to the sustainable development principle. The sustainable development principle is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. The government will play a lead-role towards actual implementation and evaluation of the INDC plans (Saiyasitpanich, 2017). Finally, for establishing the INDC, Thailand has proposed to remain consistent with the Sufficient Economy Philosophy  (Saiyasitpanich, 2017).
Expert analysts suggest that Thailand facing numerous obstacles and still has a long way to go in terms of successfully complying with its Paris Agreement pledge. A clear-cut roadmap to successfully achieving its INDC’s emissions reduction objectives is lacking. This creates a sense of uncertainty about the emission reduction strategies in place to successfully comply with the Paris Agreement. There are other obstacles that might hinder Thailand’s long-term success in complying with the Paris Agreement. For instance, the ineffectiveness of existing climate change policies due to high budgets and the halting of renewable energy infrastructures is resulting in widespread criticism. There are proposed plans about increasing coal usage from 10% to around 25%, which will prevent Thailand from meeting the INDC targets. Other proposed developmental projects are in place under Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, which will likely increase the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the near future. The “Get Back Forest Policy” has received enormous criticisms by political opponents as well as strong resentment on behalf of indigenous communities as their land rights are being violated where the lands of indigenous communities in forests are being taken away to increase the forest area up to 40% of state territory. Finally, the Government policies with respect to the Paris Agreement have led to large-scale anger on behalf of small-scale marginalized farmers as they feel that they are being neglected. Therefore, in order for Thailand to comply with the Paris Agreement the government’s policies need to be more transparent, inclusive, holistic and bottom-up. The top-down approach, which is currently in place, excludes the voices of different sectors of the society. Only with these change will the government’s policies will be able to gain stronger support from all sectors of society. This in turn will help with the successful implementation of policies that will meet Thailand’s Paris Agreement pledge.

Learn More

To learn more about the presentation by Dr. Phirun Saiyasitpanich; and to know more about Thailand’s steps to comply with the Paris Agreement in 2015 please visit http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/Thailand/1/Thailand_INDC.pdf
To learn more about the Clean Development Project please visit http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/mechanisms/clean_development_mechanism/items/2718.php
To learn more about the National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) please visit http://unfccc.int/focus/mitigation/items/7172.php
To learn more about Thailand’s pledge in the Kyoto Protocol please visit http://www.tgo.or.th/2015/english/content.php?s1=31&s2=73&sub3=sub3
To learn more about Thailand’s INDC please visit http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/Thailand%20First/Thailand_INDC.pdf
To learn more about the obstacles which might hinder Thailand’s long-term success to comply with the Paris Agreement please visit http://earthjournalism.net/stories/thailand-will-have-a-lot-to-do-following-adoption-of-the-new-paris-climate-agreement-on-saturday-while-looking-forward-to-collaborate-in-the-next-year-climate-talk-as-a-chair-of-g77
To learn more about the Sufficient Economy Philosophy please visit https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnership/?p=2126 and to learn about the Sufficient Economy in Thailand’s context please visit https://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/overview/middle-way-applying-king%E2%80%99s-philosophy-sufficiency-economy-long-term-sustainable-development
To learn more about Thailand’s 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan please visit http://www.asialeds.org/resource/eleventh-national-economic-and-social-development-plan-2012-2016-thailand/

Thailand Emission Reduction Policy

Low-Carbon Green Growth Policies  

Low carbon green growth policies are currently in use in various Thai government programs. Thailand will be able to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions if the government can scale-up the use of these policies. There are several ways in which green low-carbon growth policies are significant for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. First, low-carbon green growth policies help in the facilitation of infrastructures that are carbon-free. This ensures sustainable economic development in the long-run. Second, the low-carbon green growth policies, if scaled-up, can be an appropriate solution in terms of improving the country’s energy efficiency and providing viable technologies that will help to curb vast amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, the transportation sector in Thailand generates a major proportion of greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas including in cities like Bangkok. If a scaled-up and low-carbon green growth policies are in place, around 25% of greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced in Bangkok with respect to Bangkok’s 2020 baseline. This can be achieved by: increasing fuel efficiency to meet future European Union fuel economy standards; fuel tax and road pricing policies can be implemented through increased vehicle registration fees, congestion charges and parking fees; and developing energy-efficient public transport infrastructures. Finally, the scaling-up of low-carbon green growth policies can also decrease Thailand’s large-scale greenhouse gas emissions by offering effective power generation sources that use low-carbon technologies and clean renewable energy.

Thai Government’s policymaking process includes three major steps that outlines the proposed plans for scaling-up low-carbon green growth policy. The first step is the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on green growth, which is chaired by the Prime Minister. In this step, the green growth action plans in place under the national economic and social development plan led by the NESDB should be integrated with the National Strategy for Climate Change Management led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. This will help in mainstreaming the green low-carbon growth policy with the 11th Five Year Plan, which has been implemented by NESDB. The second step is for the national green growth policy and strategy to take a holistic approach, which looks into the most cost-effective interventions and sectors. Such a holistic approach will be required to successfully fulfill the scaling-up of low-carbon green growth policy objectives. The third step is that urban transport and it’s roles and responsibilities should be listed as a priority green growth investment sector by central and local governments. This step will ensure that both central and local governments in Thailand address urban transport issues from a green growth perspective.

Learn More
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/576401468120848097/pdf/662200WP0p12440e0Clean0Energy0all07.pdf

Thailand Extreme Weather Event

Extreme Rainfall and Flooding

A recent example of climate change related extreme weather in Thailand happened in December 2016. Twelve of Thailand’s 14 southern provinces experienced heavy rainfall that lasted for several days. The excessive rainfall led to massive flooding and devastation in these provinces and other regions including central Thailand, areas of the Malay Peninsula, and northern Indonesia. Narathiwat, the southernmost province in Thailand experienced around 226 mm (almost 9 inches) of rainfall in the first two days of December. This flooding event led to significant disruption in rail services in the surrounding area. It damaged around 2,400 hectares of farmlands and more than 360,000 people were severely affected, and approximately 14 deaths occurred. In response to the widespread flooding, the Governor of Thailand’s Surat Thani province identified 16 of the province’s 19 disaster areas; and small boats and vessels were warned not to venture to sea. Heavy rainfall still continued for several days, which increased the risks of landslides and flash floods.

Government policy-makers have expressed an urgent need for the implementation of disaster management policies, which incorporates flood management. However, residents from flood-prone communities have strongly opposed the manner through which these flood management measures has been proposed by the Thai government. One such flood management measure is the construction of flood protection walls, which is associated with growing debates from both sides. To address the necessity of constructing the flood protection walls, Pattanan Thongsawad, a demonstrator and local resident of Thailand’s flood prone village Yucharoen, argued, “We want more concrete walls all the way around our community. That is the only way I’ll feel secure. There will be more rain and more floods and we cannot rely on the government to deal with them”. In contrast, Gernot Laganda, a climate specialist at the United Nations Development Program Office in Bangkok highlighted the cons of building a flood protection wall by arguing, “It will be more important to build strong monitoring systems and to start building climate flexible systems. Instead of building high walls and river defenses today, it will make more sense to strengthen the foundations of existing structures so they can be raised as and when risks become more apparent.” Similarly, Surajit Chirawate, who sits on the senate environmental committee, argues about the cons of constructing a flood protection wall by saying, “People should not fight with the water. They should let it through. That is how we dealt with floods in the past. That is why Bangkok has so many canals. But now rich city dwellers are too distant from nature. What they are doing with their flood protection walls is actually increasing the level of the water”. Such debates are leading to increased uncertainties about the effectiveness of policies in place with respect to flood management measures. Therefore, Thailand still has a long road ahead for implementing an effective natural disaster management and flood control policy that will be successful in the long-run. Developing such policies will require a more transparent process, which can be achieved through joint collaboration between the residents from vulnerable flood-prone communities, citizens, Thai Government, policymakers, environmental planners and concerned stakeholders.

Learn More

To learn more about the recent flooding event in Thailand, which occurred in December 2016, please visit http://www.air-worldwide.com/Blog/Floods-in-Thailand-Are-Regular-Natural-Disasters/

To learn more about the 2011 flooding in Thailand, the flood management measures proposed by the government post-2011 flooding and the growing debates associated with these measures, please visit http://www.climatecentral.org/news/partner-news/thailand-seeks-flood-prevention-plan-as-bangkok-clean-up-operation-con

Thailand Subnational Best Practices

Cities

Bangkok—Bangkok is one of the leading cities in Thailand and it is taking steps for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this regard, the BKK Action Plan on Global Warming from 2007 to 2012 was implemented for the city of Bangkok. The objective of this Action Plan is voluntary and it aims to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) below the 2012 emission level by 15% or around 10 mil tCO2e/year. Bangkok recently received US $300 million from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) around which US $70 million will be used to support the Urban Transformation for Bangkok. To achieve this, the key emphasis for the city of Bangkok will be on efficient and clean Urban Transport (i.e. Bus Rapid Transit System) along with the improvement of Building Energy Efficiency.

Contact
For more information regarding the urban transformation which is taking place in Bangkok in the context of reducing GHG emissions, Chanin Manopiniwes
Address: World Bank Office, 30th Floor, Siam Tower, 989 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Telephone: 66 (0) 2686 8300 and fax at 66 (0) 2686 8301
Email: cmanopiniwes@worldbank.org

Muangklang—In the Rayong Province in Thailand, Muangklang is a small-sized municipality. The Muangklang municipality is taking effective steps for reducing GHG emissions. To achieve this, Muangklang, which is under the leadership of a local government supportive of sustainability principles, partnered with the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) to implement the Low Carbon City approach. The main objectives of the Low Carbon City approach are to enhance the city’s good practices and create a model that other small cities in Thailand can replicate and follow.

Contact
For more information regarding the Low Carbon City approach in Thailand’s Rayong Province, contact CDKN Asia
Address: Pakistan’s LEAD House F 7, Markaz, Islamabad 44000
Telephone: +92-51-2651511
Email: asia@cdkn.org

Nakhon Sawan—Another city in Thailand that is taking active initiatives to decrease GHG emissions is the central Thai city of Nakhon Sawan. This city is situated at the origin of the Chao Phraya River. It will soon become a flagship “green city” and will be a role model for other cities in Thailand.  Nakhon Sawan received an award of the second ASEAN Certificate of Recognition in the category of Clean Water for Small Cities in 2014 because of the city’s efficient wastewater system. In terms of addressing climate change induced threats like water scarcity, this city has policies in place regarding efficient supply of water, and the systematic use and management of water resources. These policies include access to good water quality for consumers; protection of water resources; wastewater treatment before discharge; construction and operation of a water supply system to cover the city’s area; and acquisition of raw water resources to feed the water supply that fulfills Thailand and World Health Organization standards. There also are plans for developing a low-carbon strategy in Nakhon Sawan city. To stress upon the facilitation of low-carbon strategy, Tanapat Saengkiettiyuth who is the Head of Water Quality Management Subdivision of Nakhon Sawan says he wants the city to become a “city of trees” at a ratio of at least five square meters of greenery or park per resident. Recycled water from the wastewater plant would be used for the irrigation of these parks. Similarly, this city has a plan in place to address waste generation concerns. The aim of this plan is to reduce solid waste by at least 10% through the switch from plastic bags to paper bags and to facilitate sustainable consumption by using non-toxic vegetable farming.

Contact
For more information regarding initiatives that Nakhon Sawan is taking for GHG emissions reduction contact the Environment Division of the ASEAN Secreteriat
Telephone: +62-21 7243372, +62-21 7262991
Email: public@asean.org

Associations

Asian Cities Climate Resilience Network—A leading network that works in the field of climate change in Thailand is Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN). ACCCRN has had projects in Thai cities like Hat Yai and Chiang Rai from 2009 to 2016 that have been funded by The Rockefeller Foundation. ACCCRN’s main objective is related to sharing success stories along with encouraging cities in different parts of the world to take effective measures and initiatives in terms of mitigating, coping or adapting with climate change.

Contact
Website: https://www.acccrn.net/country/thailand

Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization—Another influential association that is undertaking national-level project activities in Thailand is the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO). The key vision of TGO is to develop effective greenhouse gas management strategies for the purpose of benefitting the economy, saving the environment and protecting the society at large. The activities of TGO include facilitating development projects, as well as adopting strategies for marketing and trading greenhouse gas emissions; providing the public with information about the operation of greenhouse gas; giving advice to the respective government departments and the private sector about how to manage greenhouse gas emissions.

Contact
Website: http://www.tgo.or.th

Learn More

1)    To know more about climate change initiatives Bangkok is taking:
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTCARBONFINANCE/Resources/Chanin_Manopiniwes_Nat_Pinnoi_Bangkok_Urban_Transformation.pdf

2)    To know more about climate change initiatives in Muangklang Municipality:
http://cdkn.org/2013/03/feature-thailands-low-carbon-city-initiative/?loclang=en_gb

3)    To know more about climate change initiatives in Nakhon Sawan:
http://investvine.com/thai-city-excels-in-environmental-strategy/

4)    To know more about the awards received by cities in Thailand for their climate change best practices:
http://environment.asean.org/asean-working-group-on-environmentally-sustainable-cities/

5)    To know more about the city of Songkhla going green and the Green City Action Plans (GCAP):
https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/related/41570/imt-gt-green-cities-initiative-brochure-2016.pdf

6)    To know more about the climate change initiatives of Thai cities like Phuket and Phitsanulok:
http://environment.asean.org/recipients-of-asean-esc-award-2011/

7)    To know more about the Climate Change Master Plan 2013-2023 for Bangkok and the Green Growth Project for Bangkok:
http://resilientcities2016.iclei.org/fileadmin/sites/resilient-cities/files/Resilient_Cities_2016/PPTs/H2_combined_presentations_Part4.pdf

8)    To know more about the Green City Action Plan specifically for Songkhla and Hat Yai municipalities:
https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/related/41572/imt-gt-green-city-action-plan-songkhla-hat-yai-municipalities-march-2015.pdf

9)    To know more about strategies related to Climate Change Best Practices in Bangkok and Samui Island:
https://enviroscope.iges.or.jp/contents/APEIS/RISPO/p_report_2nd/14_3_4_1_development_of_environmentally_sustainable.pdf

10)    To know more about the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand and its steps for reducing greenhouse gas emissions:
http://www.citiesforcleanair.org/documents/Chiang%20Mai%20Vision%20for%20Clean%20Air.pdf

11)    To know more about the measures Bangkok, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai are taking to tackle climate change:
http://cleanairasia.org/wpcontent/uploads/portal/files/documents/Climate_Change_Plans_and_Infrastructure_in_Asian_Cities_-_Low_Res.pdf

12)    To know more about the low-carbon strategies developed in Samui Island:
http://aperc.ieej.or.jp/publications/reports/lcmt/Policy_Review_for_Koh_Samui_Thailand.pdf

13)    To know more about the development of solar power in Nakhon Sawan province, Thailand:
http://renewables.seenews.com/news/energy-absolute-to-install-570-mw-of-renewables-by-2017-report-435525

14)    To know more about the climate change initiatives in Chiang Rai, Thailand:
http://citistates.com/award-urban-innovation-2013/

Thailand Leaders and Opponents

Government Official
General Surasak Karnjanarat
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand

On April 23, 2016, in an international conference, General Surasak Karnjanarat represented the “Group of 77” developing countries in which Thailand was an integral part along with China. Here, General Karnjanarat stressed the need to implement the Paris Agreement through action on adaptation in developing countries. In order to enhance the Paris Agreement objectives and the ratification process, General Karnjanarat stated the need for lowering global carbon emissions and pursuing efforts to decrease global temperatures. General Karnjanarat further addressed the conference with respect to the Paris Agreement pledge that “the Group of 77 had been the most affected by climate change, and yet, was already undertaking ambitious measures to prevent harm and move towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. In this regard, General Karnjanarat stated that “Developed countries had a responsibility to support their developing counterparts in their endeavors by emphasizing that in the fight against climate change, the Group of 77 stood ready and willing to play its part and to make a commitment to the present, as well as future generations to come”. During this conference, General Karnjanarat suggested that the most effective way for the Paris Agreement to come into force would be for developed and developing countries to jointly assist and help each other in their efforts for climate change reduction.

Contact: webmaster@mnre.mail.go.th

Climate Program Advocate
Penchom Saetang
Director of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH)

Penchom Saetang’s work is influential with respect to the Paris Agreement as she proposed community-based climate change awareness strategies that focused on a wide range of areas. These areas include enhancement of neighborhood capacity to collect pollutant data; support of environmental litigation; and advocacy for a national policy to guarantee the public the “right to know” of released pollutants. In order to ensure that citizen concerns are represented in the latest negotiations by industries and the government on climate change, Penchom designed a national campaign for “climate justice”. This campaign raised awareness about climate change issues during the lead up to the Paris Agreement. In this campaign, she works with a wide range of citizen networks across Thailand to see that measurable changes are made for creating a socially and environmentally responsible industry in developing countries.

Contact: penchom.earth@gmail.com   Address: Nonthaburi , 12. Thailand

Climate Program Opponent
Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri
General Secretary of the Indigenous Peoples’ Foundation for Education and Environment (IPF) based in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri attended the Paris Climate Conference in 2015 and raised concerns on behalf of the indigenous people of Thailand about the negative implications of the Paris Agreement in 2015. For instance, one of the concerns about the Paris Agreement that was raised by indigenous people representatives like Kittisak was that in such climate agreements there is a lack of a human rights perspective that leaves marginal groups of people in the society behind.

Another concern addressed by the indigenous representatives is that human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights are not recognized in article two of the Paris Agreement’s text, which refers to the implementation of the Agreement for holding global temperature rise. As an outcome, Thailand’s Government implemented policies like the reclaiming of forests that violated the rights of indigenous people and discriminated against them. They were arrested and placed in jail for holding small amount of forest wood for repairing their houses. The representatives highlighted that in most areas indigenous people in Thailand were charged and accused for causing global warming whereas most illegal commercial loggers are not arrested and remain unaccountable. In addtion, Kittisak addressed two flaws of the Thai Government’s policies in relation to the Paris Agreement. One is that “The government has implemented a top-down policy to curb deforestation and climate change.” Another flaw that Kittisak highlighted is that “Indigenous people have already experienced the impact of climate change in the past years. We are trying to adapt our way of life to cope with the changes. But community-based approaches don’t get enough attention at the policy level.” By highlighting these concerns and flaws of the Paris Agreement and the policies of the Thai Government, Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri reveals that unless the rights of indigenous people are equally recognized and given equal consideration, such Climate Agreements will remain ineffective.

Contact: kittisak.rattanakrajangsri@gmail.com

Learn More

To learn more about Penchom Saetang and her work related to climate change visit https://www.ashoka.org/en/fellow/penchom-saetang#intro

To know more about leading Government Official General Surasak Karnjanarat and the Ministry Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand visit http://webeng.mnre.go.th/main.php?filename=contact

To learn more about the speech General Surasak Karnjanarat gave on April 23, 2016 about the Paris Agreement on behalf of the “Group of 77” countries and China visit: http://reliefweb.int/report/world/secretary-general-hails-history-making-ceremony-world-leaders-175-countries-sign-paris

To learn more about the concerns and flaws of the Paris Agreement raised by indigenous peoples’ representatives like Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri visit: http://www.earthjournalism.net/stories/thailand-will-have-a-lot-to-do-following-adoption-of-the-new-paris-climate-agreement-on-saturday-while-looking-forward-to-collaborate-in-the-next-year-climate-talk-as-a-chair-of-g77

Thailand Leading Research Study

Research Study:  “A Holistic Approach to Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment: Pilot study in Thailand”, Stockholm Environment Institute, Bangkok, Suppakom Chinvanno,  2013

This Study offers a detailed case study of the Krabi, Province in Thailand and indicates how a more holistic approach can be applied to analyze the impact of climate change.

This case study focused on three major sectors in the Krabi province— agriculture, tourism, and inshore fisheries. The study outlines the impact of climate change on these sectors. For the agricultural sector in the Krabi province, climate change impact is associated with reduced rainfall amounts and anomalies in rainfall distributions. Most agricultural plantations are rain-fed, which might lead to significant concerns that there will be insufficient water to support agricultural activity in Krabi.

The study suggests that climate change impacts on the tourism sector are associated with fewer rainy days and much shorter monsoon seasons (reduced by four weeks in the 2030s). The rainy season is considered the low tourism season. Tourist activities are limited by rainy days. Therefore, climate change might benefit the tourism industry.

Finally, the study suggests that climate change impacts upon the inshore fisheries are associated with strong monsoons and increased sea level rise. Coastal fisheries use small boats, which cannot withstand strong monsoon winds. Most fishing communities are situated on small strips of land along the shoreline and are highly threatened by coastal erosion. Moreover, water consumption is primarily based on wells, which could be contaminated if the sea level rises, even seasonally.

Learn More

To read the full study click on the following link: www.asiapacificadapt.net or www.weADAPT.org

For more information about how a holistic approach in terms of socioeconomic factors, vulnerability assessment, and interactions between sector leads to an effective adaptation measure with respect to climate change in Thailand see http://www.climateadapt.asia/upload/publications/files/514169fa5d5faKrabi_v8_Web.pdf

Thailand Emissions Reduction Policy

Thailand: The 15 Year Renewable Energy Development Plan and The 20 Year Energy Conservation Plan

Renewable energy and energy efficiency are the primary goals of climate change policy in Thailand. Development of renewable energy and energy efficiency is enhanced by national level policies. These include the 15-Year Renewable Energy Development Plan (REDP) and the 20-Year Energy Conservation Plan.

Based on domestic resources, the Government of Thailand developed a national level policy called the 15-Year Renewable Energy Development Plan (REDP) in order to strengthen the security of energy provision; promote the use of energy for an integrated green community; support the alternative energy technology industry; and research, develop, and promote high-efficiency alternative energy technologies (Ministry of Energy 2009). Renewable energy sources, which are developed under the REDP, are solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, biogas, municipal waste, ethanol, biodiesel and hydrogen. After the successful implementation of REDP, there will be greenhouse gas reductions of around 42MtCO2 eq in 2022 (Ministry of Energy 2009). There are three major strategies, which are required for implementation of the plan:

  • Supporting the production and utilization of renewable energy
  • Supporting research and development into renewable energy
  • Raising awareness and knowledge dissemination

In 2011, the Government of Thailand created a comprehensive national policy plan called the 20-Year Energy Conservation Plan to promote energy efficiency associated with transport, industry, commercial, and residential sectors (Ministry of Energy 2009). This plan is intended to be a long-term plan for energy conservation and energy efficiency. Under the plan, it is expected that greenhouse gas emissions will be significantly reduced by about 49MtCO2 eq by 2030 (Ministry of Energy 2009). To achieve this objective, the plan includes different policy measures for enhancing energy efficiency, which are:

  • Energy standards and regulations
  • Capacity building
  • Energy efficiency networking
  • Awareness raising
  • Financial incentives

The creation of a national policy such as the renewable energy promotion policy and its associated measures has had major implications for the power and fuel production industry. One such implication is associated with the substantial growth of the small and very small power producers. Such policy measures allowed small producers to join the energy production sector (financially) and attracted large number of investors (both nationally and internationally) to renewable energy projects.

These policies and measures have increased the energy security of Thailand. Developing and utilizing renewable energy leads to reducing the dependency on imported energy from other countries. However, some argue that current policy incentives may not be enough to attract investments (both nationally and internationally) in some renewable energy sources like wind power.

Learn More

https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/156207/adbi-wp352.pdf

Thailand Energy Production Trends

How Thailand’s Energy System Is Structured

The national energy and environmental policies are government-level policies that are adopted for implementing environmental and energy-related objectives in Thailand. Thailand’s energy policies, which include electric power and renewable energy policies, are drafted and created by the Ministry of Energy (MoE).  Similarly, energy policies that include electric power and natural gas transmission are regulated by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

The ERC is a governmental organization chaired by the Prime Minister. The overall management of the energy sector is the responsibility of the National Energy Policy Council and the Energy Policy Committee, two organizations established to work in conjunction to manage the sector. The Department of Energy Business is responsible for regulating the quality of service provided by the various companies and organizations operating in the energy sector.

The Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), which is under Thailand’s Ministry of Energy, oversees all aspects of Thailand’s energy policies, which includes oil, natural gas, and power sectors. The National Economic and Social Development Board of Thailand oversee large energy infrastructure projects and contribute to the policy planning process. Similarly, the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) approves all energy-related plans. Finally, the Department of Mineral Fuels regulates the upstream sector of Thailand’s hydrocarbons. Its main function is to promote oil and gas exploration and development, including licensing rounds.

Thailand’s Ministry of Energy also looks into the management of Thailand’s Oil Stabilization Fund, which regulates and, in effect, subsidizes retail and wholesale petroleum product prices. The government of Thailand is attempting to limit the subsidies for LPG and diesel, and the government’s pricing reforms are caught between the dual pressures of protecting consumers and industry against inflation and the fund’s depletion. As a first step, the government’s goal is to raise LPG prices, at least for industrial and petrochemical consumers, as part of government’s pricing reforms.

There are various organizations (i.e., state-run/government, public companies, and independent companies), which are responsible for providing energy in Thailand. These organizations include:

• Office of the Minister — responsible for coordination with the Cabinet, the parliament, and the general public
• Office of the Permanent Secretary — establishes strategies, translates policies of the ministry into action plans, and coordinates international energy cooperation
• Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) — promotes the efficient use of energy, monitors energy conservation activities, explores alternative energy sources, and disseminates energy-related technologies
• Department of Energy Business — regulates energy quality and safety standards, environment and security, and improves standards to protect consumers’ interests
• Department of Mineral Fuels — facilitates energy resource exploration and development
• Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) — recommends economy-wide energy policies and planning
• Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand — the state generation enterprise
• Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) Exploration and Production (E&P) Public Company Limited and the Bangchak Petroleum Public Company Limited — two autonomous public companies
• Energy Fund Administration Institute — a public organization
• Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Power Program Development Office — two independent organizations

On June 28, 2010, the National Energy Policy Commission (NEPC) passed a resolution to reduce the Adder rate for solar projects and to establish a new committee to oversee policy formulation and regulation of renewable energy policy. The Managing Committee on Power Generation from Renewable Energy Promotion (hereafter, the “Managing Committee”) was appointed to coordinate, follow-up, and ensure that the implementation and establishment of measures promoting power generation from renewable energy is in compliance with policy.

The national energy/environmental policy of the Thailand government favors the regulatory frameworks dealing with the growth and expansion of renewable energy within the country. In terms of specific measures for promoting renewable energy in electricity production, Thailand enacted a Small and Very Small Power Purchase Agreements act, which regulates the connection of small producers to the electricity grid and the sale of their electricity. This framework also serves as a base for the feed-in tariff for solar, wind, waste, biomass, biogas, and mini and macro hydro power, which was passed in 2007 and amended in 2009. The law for a premium feed-in tariff regulates the payment of technology specific premiums on top of a regular electricity tariff. This policy awards power producers with an extra “adder” for systems installed in three provinces in Southern Thailand as well as for systems generating Renewable Energy (RE) electricity, replacing diesel in the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) system.

Finally, the regulatory framework also includes the new Thailand Power Development Plan 2015 – 2036, which was created by the government of Thailand in 2015. This plan states that the Thai government has a growing interest in attracting foreign investments in the renewable energy sector, particularly in solar photovoltaic projects. In this regard, the national energy/environmental policy enables renewable energy producing companies to receive government fundings, subsidies, and grants in order to promote the growth of renewable energy.  Renewable energy producing companies like SPCG will thus benefit from these regulatory frameworks in place, in terms of enhanced production activities and practices.

Energy Sources

The Ministry of Energy’s 2012 data reveals the percentage of Thailand’s energy use that is provided by fossil fuels. Around 10% of Thailand’s energy consumption was from coal and coal-related products. Petroleum products comprised majority of Thailand’s energy consumption at 47%. Natural gas provided around 6% of Thailand’s energy consumption. Thailand’s traditional renewable energy, which is composed of biomass, provided 12% of energy in 2012, whereas renewable energy comprised of wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal, provided 6% of energy. Thailand’s energy use with respect to nuclear power is still on hold. There are plans to add 2 GW of nuclear power that have been on hold since 2007, and the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan has driven Thailand’s specific investment costs for nuclear to unfeasible levels.

Thailand is increasingly dependent on energy imports, which are expected to grow from 42% in 2013 to 78% in 2040. The share of natural gas imports will almost double due to declining domestic production and the high demand for power generation. To limit energy imports, the national power plan (AEDP 2015-2036) foresees that by 2040, biomass will have the largest share of Thailand’s energy at 13% (11 GW), followed by PV at 9% (8 GW), wind at 6% (5 GW) and hydropower at 5% (4 GW).

Profiles of Leading Energy Companies

Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) or PTT Public Co. Ltd.: PTT Public Co. Ltd was established on December 29, 1978, and its primary mission was to procure adequate oil for domestic consumption. Following the privatization of the state enterprise Petroleum Authority of Thailand, PTT Public Co. Ltd, or PTT, was registered on October 1, 2001, under Corporatization Act B.E 2542 (A.D. 1999). PTT inherited from its predecessor  business operations, rights, debts, liabilities, and assets. PTT has an initial registered capital of Baht 20,000 million (10 Baht/share). PTT also has a very strong link with the government of Thailand as the Ministry of Finance has 51.1% ownership in the company. The ministry thus has considerable influence on PTT’s policies and direction through strong representation on the company’s board. Finally, the government-supported equity fund Vayupak also owns 15.3% of PTT, thus the total government ownership in PTT is at 66.4%.

SPCC Public Co Ltd:  SPCG Public Co. Ltd is a company which began developing and operating mega-solar facilities in Thailand in 2010. SPCG is a pioneer in solar farm and solar roof development in Thailand and Asean. SPCG has developed 36 solar farm projects in Thailand totalling about 260 Mw in 10 provinces throughout the Northeast of Thailand and Lopburi, with a total land area of about 5000 rais (2000 Acres). SPCG is a pioneer in the solar roof business in Thailand. Solar Power Company Limited (SPC) is a subsidiary of SPCG that holds 34 licenses to develop solar farms, with a connected output of 200 mWp.

PTT Public Co. Ltd: PTT Public Co Ltd  produces non-renewable energy from petroleum, natural gas and oil products. A newspaper report stated that the PTT board approved investments in floating liquid natural gas storage facilities located at Map Ta Phut, in Rayong province, where Thailand’s largest petrochemical complex is located. PTT is currently expanding the Map Ta Phut Terminal to accommodate 10 million metric tons of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) per annum by 2017. The Chairman of PTT Piyasvasti Amranand stated that “the company’s capacity to accommodate Liquefied Natural Gas would eventually reach 20 million in the near future.”. PTT’s cost of energy, which they provide to consumers, is expected to increase over the next five years as its rate of production and distribution will increase proportionally. PTT mostly serves individual consumers and large numbers of customers in the industrial sectors.

PTT’s long-term goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15% by 2020 against the business as usual projection. The target has been designed to be in line with the shared vision of the global community and international scientific research in order to prevent the global average temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius.

PTT Public Co. Ltd is committed to reducing GHG emissions both in scope one and scope two from its operations. Increasing energy efficiency, changing fuel types, generating power from co-generation power plant, and utilizing waste heat are some of the measures PTT introduced for reducing GHG emissions. In addition, PTT aims to reduce GHG emissions from scope three activities by offering low-carbon products. In 2012, PTT conducted a comprehensive review of its GHG emission management. Based on the results of the study, the CCC introduced carbon intensity index to measure the organization’s effectiveness in reducing GHG emission. PTT conducted a pilot project to determine the ratio of GHG emission per unit of product or ton of carbon dioxide equivalent per barrel of oil equivalent (tCO2/BOE). The short-term target will be based on the average carbon intensity in the past. Long-term targets will be set to support carbon intensity index reduction in order to reflect PTT’s GHG management efforts. Additional analysis of GHG emission will be conducted by PTT to determine appropriate indicators for setting the company’s carbon intensity goal.

SPCG Public Co Ltd: SPCG Public Co. Ltd produces renewable energy and its source is from solar power. SPCG has a combined output capacity of 36 facilities, which it operates across the country. In recent years, SPCG’s combined output capacity has reached at 260 megawatts which provides around one-fifth of Thailand’s total solar-generated electricity. SPCG’s CEO Wandee Khunchomyakong stated that the “company aims to double the solar power generation capacity to a total of 500 MW by 2020.” SPCG launched two solar farms in Surin Province in June 2014 with an output capacity of 7,460 KW each. Tens of thousands of solar panels are lined up in an agricultural district in the northeastern province. Electricity generated in this region is sold solely to Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority, which brings revenue of 240 million baht ($6.92 million) annually to the power plant operator. Finally, SPCG’s stable, efficient power generation has been highly appreciated in the market. Its consolidated revenue boosted to roughly 4.4 billion baht, and the net profits to 1.7 billion baht, for the period that ended December 2014. SPCG has broad range of customers, which includes individual consumers, private firms and government agencies.

In 2014, SPCG Public Co. Ltd implemented the construction of 36 PV solar farms in northeast Thailand, which accounted for 250 MW of installed capacity. This made possible potential savings of 200,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year compared to Thailand’s fossil-fuel driven electricity generation.

SPCG Public Co. Ltd installed solar farms, which provide potential savings of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. The Korat 2 and Loei 1 solar farms of SPCG will provide clean and renewable energy for the local population in future time. These two solar farms have replaced some of the electricity produced from fossil fuel generation thus improving local air quality and helping mitigate the effects of climate change. SPCG is playing a key role in placing Thailand on a low-carbon growth path and reducing its reliance on imported energy, and at the same time enhancing economic growth in some of the most impoverished regions of Thailand. SPCG’s financing granted by the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) will also be significant in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The CTF, which is a multi-donor facility administered by the World Bank, will assist SPCG through scaled-up financing for demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low-carbon technologies, with significant potential for long-term savings in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Neebir Banerjee

Thailand Emission Reduction Challenges

Leading Emission Reduction Challenges: (a) Rising consumer/ industrial energy sector demand.

 

Current Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels

As determined from the global carbon atlas, Thailand’s recent level of greenhouse gas emissions from the year 2014 has been approximately 337 MtCO2. In this regard, Thailand’s national greenhouse gas emissions were only 0.84% of global emissions in 2012, and in 2015 it was 0.64% of global emissions. From 1990-2012 Thailand’s share of cumulative emissions was 0.75%. Thailand’s per capita GHG emissions in 2012 were 5.63 tco2e and emissions per GDP (US$ million) were 409.54 tco2e which were lower than the world average. With respect to the emission profile, the Second National Communication indicates that 67% of Thailand’s total GHG emissions in 2000 were from the energy sector. In 2012, data obtained from CAIT determined around 73% were from the energy sector. Here, Thailand aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are generated from the energy sector, which includes transport.

 

Emission Reduction Challenges

One of the major problems associated with Thailand’s reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is energy security. To tackle the issues of energy security, the Government of Thailand initiated a shift to natural gas in the power generation sector as early as the 1980s. This effort continued throughout the 1990s. In 2005, about 72% of electricity in Thailand was generated using natural gas. These early actions in the energy sector created major challenges as Thailand is left with less available choices and faced with higher marginal costs of further reducing GHG emission in the energy sector.

To make energy more efficient Thailand’s Ministry of Energy introduced the Power Development Plan, which sets a target for achieving a 20% share of power generation from renewable sources in 2036. The Ministry also introduced the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) and the Energy Efficiency Plan (EEP). The AEDP aims to achieve a 30% share of renewable energy in the total final energy consumption in 2036. The EEP plans to reduce Thailand’s energy intensity by 30% below the 2010 level by 2036.

Another problem, which hinders Thailand’s reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, is the high costs and capacity constraints in the energy sector. For instance, very high investment and operating costs, particularly costs of technologies and infrastructures, can serve as a significant barrier to investments in renewable energy. Since Thailand is a developing country, it lacks the high technical capacity and effective coordination, which are required to support energy efficiency reforms. To address this problem, Thailand has domestically launched support mechanisms like feed-in tariffs, tax incentives and access to investment grants and venture capital for promoting renewable energy expansion. However, Thailand still has a long way to go in terms of establishing effective energy measures. Finally, in terms of the Paris Agreement pledge, no concrete roadmap has been prepared by the Thai government thus resulting in delays in the ratification process.

Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Neebir Banerjee

 

Useful Resources

http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/Thailand/1/Thailand_INDC.pdf

http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/?q=en/emissions

http://climateanalytics.org/hot-topics/ratification-tracker.html

Thailand Ratification Status

Possibility of Ratification by 2018: Medium

Thailand is one of the signatories of the Paris Agreement and Thailand signed the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016. However, Thailand has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement and it does not have any specific timeline for ratification. One of the major challenges that might hinder Thailand’s ratification of the Paris Agreement is the lack of transparency in the country’s legislative system, thus making the process of ratification more complex and complicated. This is because of Thailand’s current governmental structure. Since 2014 Thailand has been under a military dictatorship and is ruled by a prime minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha. The military dictatorship creates uncertainties for Thailand’s ratification of the Paris Agreement due to its authoritarian and mixed approach in addressing environmental concerns. The military government has replaced Thailand’s Parliament with a National Legislative Assembly. The National Assembly is generally supportive of government policy. Therefore the Assembly is likely to approve of the Paris Agreement if the Prime Minister supports it.

Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Neebir Banerjee

Learn more:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/th.html

http://en.nrct.go.th/en/Portals/0/docs/9%20Newsletter.pdf