By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
The German government together with the Thai government celebrated the launch of the Thai-German Climate Programme last Monday at the German embassy in Bangkok. The programme’s mission is to provide financial support for climate change mitigation efforts in Thailand, with a team of international and national experts working closely with partners in the Thai government.
Funding of 17.9 million euros (Bt690 million) was granted by the German Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Ministry (BMU), while the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH will provide support for implementing climate change mitigation projects and personnel support.
The 2018 to 2021 Thai-German Climate Programme will support Thailand through a cross-sectoral approach anchored in five sectoral plans, said the BMU. The wide-ranging plans cover implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) at the sub-national level, greenhouse gas measurement, establishing reporting and verification systems, mobilising funds to implement the NDCs, and extension of international cooperation.
The BMU and GIZ will work with Thailand’s Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, the Ministry of Energy, the Pollution Control Department, the Department of Water Resources, and the Rice Department.
“This will see governmental partners, the private sector and civil society cooperate on climate-friendly development approaches in the energy, waste, water and agriculture sectors, as well as on general aspects of climate change,” according to the statement.
In his opening remarks at the launch announcement, German ambassador Peter Pruegel put an emphasis on the two countries working together. His nation will share Germany’s experiences as they work with Thai partners to reach more sustainable sourcing, increased energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, he said.
It was through close cooperation and hard work on climate change mitigation and adaptation that the international community could prevent global disasters caused by global warming, said Stephan Contius, BMU Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Business-as-usual is no longer an option, said Contius.
“Thailand is an important partner country of the BMU’s International Climate Initiative, as since 2009, the ministry has financed more than 13 bilateral projects with a total value of nearly 50 million euros,” said Contius. The projects so far have “focused on mitigating CO2 emissions and helping Thailand to adapt to climate change as well as to protect forest areas and biodiversity”, he said.
“Both governments are very much interested in accelerating the implementation of the Paris Agreement and of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Thailand’s permanent secretary of Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, Wijarn Simachaya, thanked the BMU and GIZ for their continued support over the past years. He said he was pleased that both countries had extended that cooperation to implement this new climate programme.
“Thailand has set itself ambitious CO2 mitigation targets and adaptation goals. We have formulated an NDC mitigation road map outlining sectoral measures to achieve our targets,” Wijarn said.
“By the end of 2018, Thailand will launch our National Adaptation Plan for adaptation goals. Thai-German cooperation, particularly the Thai-German Climate Programme, has greatly contributed to our efforts.”
GIZ will work with civil society organisations and academics, as well as the official Thai partners and public sector, said Tim Mahler, the GIZ country director for Thailand and Malaysia
“GIZ will further seek close cooperation with other projects in Thailand on climate change to ensure that the international support is implemented as effectively as possible,” Mahler said.