Thailand brings its carbon neutral, net zero dreams forward by several years
Thailand is accelerating plans to become carbon neutral and achieve the net-zero emission target by 2050 and 2065 respectively, bringing its deadline forward from 2065 and 2090.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa announced this new plan at the ESG Declaration event held in Bangkok on Monday by the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers’ Association.
The event was titled “ESG: Powering a Climate Resilient Economy and Path to Net Zero”.
“In November last year, we announced these goals at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland,” Varawut said. “Before COP26 kicked off, several ambassadors from the European Union met me to discuss the possibility of moving up Thailand’s deadline for becoming carbon neutral and net-zero.
“These countries proposed that if Thailand moves up the timeline, they would provide financial support as well as technology and knowledge necessary to achieve the new targets.”
Varawut said the government has adjusted its plans in line with the adjusted timeline. The first step will be to shift the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 30 per cent to 40 per cent within 2030.
“This 10 per cent increase will require cooperation from all parties, as well as financial and technological aid from international communities,” he pointed out. “I am glad that the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers' Association will take part in this effort by reducing energy usage in business operations and transport, the two sectors that are responsible for most greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
Varawut also urged the business sector to adopt the government’s BCG (bio, circular and green economy) model as a framework for business development that focuses on sustainability and efficient use of resources.
Businesses are also urged to adhere to ESG (environmental, social and governance) principles as a guideline to ensure that the organisation is making responsible investment and expansion plans.
“Investments should be made with environmental and social impacts in mind, not just a focus on profits alone. Sustainable growth does not create a burden on the environment and surrounding communities,” he said.
Varawut added that other measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that have been implemented so far include the promotion of electric vehicles, implementation of CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) technology across several industries, producing renewable energy from community and industrial waste, reducing methane emissions from the agricultural sector, using zoning system and increasing green spaces in both urban and rural areas.
“I have always believed in the potential of Thai people, and that if we work together, we can achieve these goals and overcome any crisis. Most importantly, I believe that tackling climate issues is no longer optional, it’s the only way to ensure our survival,” Varawut said.