The Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok recently played host to an enlightening seminar that brought together some of the brightest minds in sustainability and environmental preservation. With panelists hailing from diverse backgrounds, this high-profile gathering brought into the limelight the urgent issues of our times, such as global climate change, carbon neutrality, and sustainable development across nations.
The talks were centered around ideas tapping into a common theme – the immense pressure we as collective societies and economies face due to the ever-worsening impact of climate change. Perspectives were shared on how countries globally are adopting and implementing steps to cut down greenhouse gas emissions. This included insightful references to the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the Clean Competition Act of the United States.
Wannipa Bhakdibutr, president and CEO of Osotspa, highlighted the urgent need for collaboration amongst different sectors and parties for sustainability and achieving carbon neutrality. She piquantly remarked, “Sustainable development is hard if no regulators show the way”. The dialogue emphasized how Thai regulators must match the pulse of global advancements to enable Thai entrepreneurs to meet sustainable development goals. Wannipa outlined how Osotspa has been incorporating sustainable development practices since 2019, striving for a balanced array of prosperity, societal contributions, and environmental conservation. She also guided budding entrepreneurs to set lucid sustainable development goals, providing a roadmap for their businesses.
Pavich Kesavawong, who helms the Department of Climate Change and Environment, announced the forthcoming Climate Change Act. While on the horizon, the comprehensive act aims to motivate cooperation rather than enforce strict regulation. A notable point was made that large companies certainly possess the potential for achieving sustainable development, but equivalent help should be made available to SMEs.
Ratchada Wanitchakorn, from the Excise Department’s Tax Planning Office, voiced the pressing demand for Thailand to actively engage with sustainable development. Owing to Thailand’s role in the global supply chain, she pitched for an effective carbon tax regime. The intent is not only to drive trade and investment but help accomplish the code red ambition of carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2065.
Another important perspective was shared by Anothai Sangthong, a director in the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation. Anothai put the spotlight on how carbon credit trades are slowly becoming the backbone of the carbon neutrality wishful thinking. Apart from suggesting entrepreneurs adjust their production processes, she advocated preparing carbon footprint data to adapt to the changing market dynamics.
Soraphol Tulayasathien, a senior executive with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), shared insights on the current trends in sustainable investment. He brought attention to the growing interest of investors in companies that work towards sustainable development. His words hinted at a future where investment portfolios might be dominated by companies that prioritize sustainable practices.
Sangchai Theerakulwanich, the Federation of Thai SMEs president, made an appeal for applying diverse principles like sustainable development, the sufficiency economy, and the bio-circular-green economic model in unison. He stressed governments should place considerable focus on enhancing public awareness about sustainability. As SMEs account for a substantial 65% of Thailand’s gross domestic product, the government should ensure to bring them under the sustainability umbrella.
In conclusion, the seminar served as a reminder of the collective efforts needed to drive sustainable development. It put forth the idea that sustainable development isn’t an insurmountable goal; all it requires is understanding and cooperation from government, large organizations, SMEs, and individuals alike.