Varawut, special US envoy discuss reduction of methane emissions
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa on Wednesday held discussions with US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre in Egypt.
Both Thailand and the US have been participating in the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the 27th Conference of the Parties, or COP27, in Egypt from November 6 to 18.
Accompanying Varawut were ministry permanent secretary Jatuporn Buruspat, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources director-general Atthaphol Charoenchansa, Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning Office secretary-general Phirun Saiyasitpanich, and Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation executive director Kiatchai Maitriwong.
After the discussions, Varawut said he highlighted Thailand’s resolution and goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 as outlined in the Nationally Determined Contributions, as well as a long-term strategy to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions by 2065.
Among the measures to be implemented are the Bio-Circular-Green Economy model to ensure sustainable economic growth.
Varawut said Kerry expressed concern over methane gas emissions in Thailand and around the world, as methane is actually a greater contributor to global warming than carbon dioxide.
“Methane is 26-28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide,” said Varawut. “In Thailand, methane emissions have been found in agricultural and animal husbandry sectors, especially from the millions of rai of rice paddy that have been flooded for extended periods.”
Varawut and Kerry vowed to work with each other and together with other countries to reduce methane emissions in a bid to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, under the 2016 Paris Agreement.
The US envoy then invited Thailand to sign a methane emission reduction agreement. Varawut said he would discuss the issue with the Labour and Agriculture and Cooperative ministries, which are responsible for the agricultural and livestock sectors, before proposing the agreement to the Cabinet for approval.