‘Climate change poses challenges but offers opportunities for positive change’
Climate change has brought challenges but also opportunities for sustainable development, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation executive director Kiatchai Maitriwong said on Wednesday.
He made the remarks during the online seminar "2022 The Annual Petroleum Outlook Forum: Thriving amid Global Energy Volatility towards Sustainable Future".
Apart from flood, drought and forest fires, he said climate change also brought opportunities, such as carbon credit, contributions for developing countries to deal with climate change and green bonds.
"The problem of climate change is bigger than the economy and energy as it affects people directly," he said.
He said the government has launched a policy for green transition, such as carbon capture and utilisation system and tree planting campaign for generating carbon credit.
He added that the government also paid attention to waste management and greenhouse gas reduction in the agriculture and industrial sectors.
"If we can change, it will become an opportunity," he said.
He said the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy model will enable Thailand to achieve sustainable development goal, adding that technology is a crucial part of the BCG economy model.
"We will be a follower if we wait, but we will be a leader if we do it now," he said, adding that business entrepreneurs should not be careless about sustainable development.
Meanwhile, the permanent secretary at the Energy Ministry, Kulit Sombatsiri, said Thailand would increase the proportion of renewable energy to tackle rising fuel prices in the long term.
He said the ministry has set up the National Energy Plan, focusing on increasing the number of electric vehicle users, promoting energy savings and using various kinds of renewable energy, such as solar power, biogas and hydropower.
"These are challenging issues as financial institutions would no longer grant loans for fossil fuel power plants, while the demand for 100% renewable energy manufactured electricity is expected to increase," he said.
Cooperation between the government, the private and public sectors is key to tackling climate change and driving Thailand toward sustainability, he said.
He added that many companies are paying attention to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principle to achieve their sustainable goal.
Bank of Thailand (BOT) Assistant Governor of Financial Institutions Policy Group Tharith Panpiemras said the central bank is focusing on long-term issues, including household debt and transition to the digital and green economy.
He added that many countries worldwide are paying attention to transitioning to a green economy in response to climate change.
"Hence, financial institutions must have a role in the green economy transition to keep up with global trends," he said.
The BOT is setting up a road map to enable the government and private sectors to cooperate on the transition to a green economy, he said.
He urged business entrepreneurs, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to work on the environmental, social and governance principle to enable Thailand to achieve its sustainability goal.
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