Thailand sees slight uptick in CO2 emissions following end of pandemic restrictions

SUNDAY, APRIL 02, 2023

Thailand emitted 247.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) last year, up 1.5% year on year as the country's economy recovered from the pandemic, the Energy Policy and Planning Office said on Sunday.

The slight increase in carbon dioxide emissions was caused by increased demand for energy due to the rebound in the services and tourism sectors triggered by the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, said the office’s director general Wattanapong Kurowat.

The transport sector emitted 79.6 million tonnes of CO2 last year, up 14.9% year on year, while businesses and households emitted 13.7 million tonnes of CO2, up 8.4% year on year, Wattanapong said.

Industry and electricity production emitted 66.5 million and 87.9 million tonnes of CO2, down 6.7% and 3.2% year on year, respectively, he added.

He said 42% of CO2 was emitted from fuel oil, followed by natural gas (30%) and coal (28%).

"CO2 emissions from fuel oil rose 14.2% year on year, but CO2 emissions from natural gas and coal dropped by 9.0% and 3.1% year on year, respectively," Wattanapong said.

Thailand emits less CO2 than other countries because it promotes the use of renewable energy as part of an energy-policy framework that aims to minimise environmental impacts, he said.

Its ratio of CO2 emissions and energy consumption is lower than the ratios in both the United States and China, Wattanapong said, citing 2020 data from the International Energy Agency.

Thailand’s ratio of CO2 emissions and energy consumption was 2.03 thousand tonnes per 1 kilotonne of oil equivalent that year, compared to 2.11 thousand tonnes and 2.90 thousand tonnes per 1 kilotonne of oil equivalent in the US and China, respectively.

Wattanapong expressed confidence that Thailand will achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero emissions by 2065.