Thailand’s battle against global warming and climate change concerns has been handed over to the recently formed alliance government under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s leadership, from the previous leadership of Prayut Chan-o-cha. This move signifies the country’s unwavering commitment to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and effectively managing potential natural disasters.
Climate change and the increasing occurrence of global warming have become pressing matters on the international stage. The preceding Thai government took distinct actions toward this cause under their 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan, spanning 2020 to 2022. This plan incorporated strategies targeting the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions as well as effective disaster risk management and climate change adaptability improvements.
The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) noted that the initiative’s outcomes were primarily encapsulated under the fourth strategic area of “Environmentally Friendly Growth for Sustainable Development”. Noteworthy improvements under this plan include the following:
Regarding greenhouse gas emissions, Thailand has shown an encouraging uptrend in reducing these harmful gases’ emissions. 2021 saw a decrease in energy sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from 258.5 million tons to 246.9 million tons. This significant reduction was attributed to stringent Covid-19 measures implemented in the years 2020-21, which effectively cut down on gas emissions from sectors such as power generation and transportation.
The 12th plan saw the National Committee on Climate Change Policy design and approve (draft) national adaptation plans. These prospective plans are currently being reviewed by relevant institutions and will be proposed to the Cabinet for ultimate assessment.
Additionally, domestic mechanisms have been put into place to enable funding, technological aid, and capacity-building in relation to climate change. Financial conduits are jointly being promulgated by relevant players to facilitate knowledge exchange and swift action against climate change.
In terms of future development with the 13th NESDC Plan, the council noted advancements made during the 12th plan concerning natural resources and the environment. Complimentary advances include forestation area expansions, protection of these areas, and rehabilitation of dilapidated forest areas.
However, some hurdles persist like the limited disposal and recycling of community waste and air and water pollution in some areas signaling inadequate resource conservation and environmental protection.
The council emphasised societal and behavioral amendments towards eco-friendly consumption as a priority for future development steps. Suggestions for promoting this shift include endorsing markets for environment-friendly products and encouraging the continuous use of eco-friendly consumer goods and services.
In conclusion, the spotlight should be fixed on the adoption of clean technology in pollution-free production processes. Moreover, organic farming and sustainable agricultural practices need to be promoted to reduce chemical usage in food products. Lastly, stricter laws should be enacted to ensure minimal impact on communities and the environment.