2023 General Election: Which political party is ‘greenest’?
As the May 14 general election is approaching, most political parties have come up with environmental policies. Here The Nation looks into what eight leading parties are offering.
Droughts, floods and forest fires can all be put down to climate change.
Extreme weather last year served as a warning to mankind. Temperatures in Europe rose to more than twice the global average in 30 years, while Thailand suffered big floods in the eastern region.
This year, wildfires in the North are becoming a big challenge for candidates vying to become the next PM.
What Thailand has done so far
Like many countries, Thailand has committed itself to address environmental challenges.
The outgoing government’s 20-year National Development Plan (2017-2036) includes a section on “green growth”, which supports sustainable development.
Thailand also launched a Climate Change Master Plan (2012-2050), which is a framework of integrated policies and action plans related to climate change.
Internationally, Thailand pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions during the 26th session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland in 2021.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha told the summit that Thailand aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by or before 2065.
Thailand has also been employing eco-friendly methods, including alternative farming, the use of carbon credits and storing carbon underground.
Calls from green campaigners
Despite these efforts, some environmental activists say they are insufficient.
The environmental advocacy group Greenpeace Thailand says the government’s actions are ineffective and primarily benefit big businesses.
Hence, Greenpeace is calling on political parties to develop policies that address six core climate issues.
These issues are climate justice (just distribution of the burden of climate change), justified energy transition, air pollution, plastic pollution, transboundary pollution, especially in the Mekong Basin, and communities’ rights to local marine and coastal resources.
“Greenpeace is keeping an eye on parties’ policies that are campaigning, particularly regarding the environment and wellness of people,” the group said on its website.
As per the Greenpeace Thailand report, none of the 20 environmental policies that political parties had promised while campaigning for the 2019 election have been implemented.
Now, as the May 14 general election is approaching, most political parties have come up with environmental policies. Here The Nation looks into what eight leading parties are offering.
What 8 key parties have to offer environmentally
Increasing water storage areas like reservoirs
Reforming the land ownership system
Creating a ‘water map’ for communities to prevent drought and flood
Using renewable energy
Supporting carbon credit use
Promoting green economy
Chart Thai Pattana
Promoting the use of clean energy
Building more parks
Promoting sustainable tourism
Distributing free solar cells to households
Boosting number of electric buses and boats
Reducing the price of EV bikes to 6,000 baht
Reducing the tax for cars with lower-than-average pollution
Promoting the use of EV cars
Pushing ‘Clean Air Act’
Banning the burning of farm waste in 1,000 subdistricts by 2026
Achieving Thailand’s net-zero goal by 2050
Promoting the use of clean energy
Thai Sang Thai
Cutting the rate of electricity to 3.5 baht/unit
Employing technology in agricultural sector
Improving irrigation system
Chart Pattana Kla
Launching forest bonds for investors
Increasing forested area by 40%
Using burnt forest areas to grow corn