Thailand to partner UN initiative in facilitating country’s move towards a green economy
Thailand's energy ministry announced a green collaboration with the United Nations Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) aimed at accelerating the nation on the right green economy track.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Supattanapong Punmeechaow stated during his opening remarks on Thursday that this partnership would focus on putting plans and policies into action with the help of PAGE and its allies.
He noted that the Thai government has already prioritised the green economy as one of the key strategies for improving people's lives and developing in a sustainable manner.
Despite the fact that the government has launched numerous green initiatives in recent years, the majority of them are still in the planning stages or are just getting started.
Therefore, he expected that joining PAGE and receiving support in both academic and concrete action with a proper budget would help the country move quickly towards its goal, especially, the Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) model.
He pointed out that the partnership would help the country leverage the BCG model by improving resource efficiency for natural assets, capitalising on the country's strengths in biological diversity and cultural richness, and utilising technology and innovation to transform the economy into a value-based and innovation-driven economy.
"It is collaboration for investment and synergistic action. The alignment of implementation is to encourage and drive a green recovery that results in a sustainable green economy," Thailand's energy minister said.
Some inception outputs were presented, including stocktaking to advance Inclusive Green Economy, Green Recovery Learning Needs Assessment, and Green Recovery Assessment on projects under rehabilitation fund.
The director of the PAGE programme in Thailand and Asia, senior environmental and labour specialist Cristina Martinez, praised the official beginning of this alliance.
She further committed to assisting Thailand in developing policies that would promote a green economy, enhance emissions trading, promote inclusive green development, and create financial mechanisms to sustain the green economy successfully.
Wichayayuth Boonchit, chairman of the PAGE Thailand National Steering Committee, stated that Page Thailand had put forward the inclusive green economy implementation in five areas:
- reduction of carbon and pollution emissions
- energy and resource efficiency promotion
- enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation
- increment of decent jobs
- just transition of income and prosperity
These areas of actions are to overcome the challenges of poverty, social inequality, environment limit, and in return bring sustainable and efficient economic growth that is environmentally friendly and offers social justice, Wichayayuth noted.
"We would like to communicate and publicise our message through today’s launch event that Thailand is moving forward to actively greening its economic development, together with PAGE partners, and invite all key actors to join this drive synergistically into the path of an inclusive green economy," he stated.
Sooksiri Chamsuk, deputy representative, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) shared that UNIDO is the lead coordinating agency for PAGE in Thailand.
The agency will coordinate technical assistance and share international experience from the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.
"With all stakeholders joining forces in putting green economic policy into action, we are creating a low-carbon society, analysing and improving resource efficiency, promoting clean production technology, and motivating green consumption, all of which contribute to long-term economic, social, and environmental sustainability," Sooksiri explained.
Supattanapong was hopeful that this action would serve as a networking platform for future collaboration among stakeholders on green economy, and green recovery policy and investment.
This would strengthen partnerships and cooperation for synergistic actions and implementation alignment to drive an integrated green economy towards sustainable development goals.
Twenty-two countries are involved with Page as of now.
Thailand was the 20th country to join Page in 2019 and began its inception phase in March 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Page is entering a three-year implementation phase, with a US$1-million budget from Page.