We must tackle global warming here and now, Thai minister tells climate summit
Many countries have been urged to deal immediately with climate change as the impact of global warming, floods and drought are set to intensify, Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa told the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Tuesday.
The conference, which commenced on November 6, ends on November 18.
Varawut said Thailand aims to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050 and reach net-zero emissions in 2065 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 388 million tonnes equivalent per year to 120 million tonnes.
Under a short-term plan, he said, the kingdom has instituted its Nationally Determined Contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.
“Thailand has done more than just talk, the country has turned words into action,” he pointed out.
Varawut said Thailand is working on dealing with climate change, such as an agreement on carbon credit trade with Switzerland under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement.
He added that Thailand is paying attention to balancing economic growth and environment preservation under the Bio-Circular-Green economy model.
This model is in line with late King Bhumibol’s “sufficiency economy” philosophy to enable the country and its people to cope with climate change while promoting an environmentally friendly, circular economy, he explained.
Varawut noted that high technology is necessary to change production guidelines and consumer behaviour in order to reduce and control greenhouse gas emissions.
It is not easy to change the behaviour of 67 million people across Thailand, which include farmers and businessmen, he told the conference.
Varawut said he cannot predict what disaster Thailand will face next year.
“But most importantly, we have to tackle climate change here and now,” he asserted. “We are confident that by working together, we will be able to fight climate change, a common enemy that we ourselves have created.”
He vowed to present further progress on dealing with climate change during COP28 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Ministry permanent secretary Jatuporn Burusphat, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources director-general Athapol Charoenshunsa, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning secretary-general Phirun Saiyasitpanich, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO) chairman Wijarn Simachaya and TGO executive director Kiatchai Maitriwong reportedly took part in the conference.