Support for Thailand’s Climate Change Policy
Title: Support to the development and implementation of the Thai Climate Change Policy
Commissioned by: German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Overall term: 2014 to 2018
Thailand, the second largest economy in South East Asia, is increasing its efforts to achieve transition towards a low carbon economy. Most recently, this has manifested itself in the ambitious target of achieving a 20-25 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Such targets are usually introduced on the condition that they do not compromise national economic growth, and in Thailand GDP is expected to continue growing at around three per cent each year.
This economic growth has caused a continuous increase in CO2 emissions in recent years, as well as heavy losses of primary forest areas. At the same time Thailand is one of the countries most severely affected by the consequences of climate change, although it has great potential for CO2 reductions. As an active member of ASEAN and a major economy in the region, Thailand can assume a leading role and become a reference point for its neighbouring countries.
The strategic alignment and effective implementation of Thailand’s climate change policy is being gradually achieved at national, provincial and local levels. This in turn promotes the optimised development of renewable energies in the country.
The project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). It builds on an earlier cooperation between the BMUB and the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) in the area of climate change policy. The current project supports MoNRE and its Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning in implementing of the country’s Climate Change Master Plan and related climate policy targets.
At the national level, the project supports the implementation of Thailand’s nationally determined contributions, providing advice in key areas such as governance and finance, as well as for the measurement, reporting and verification process. It also supports Thailand in accessing international climate finance. Since 2015, it has strengthened the capacities of the Thai National Designated Authority, which is the focal point for activities related to the Green Climate Fund. From 2017 it is carrying out further activities to enhance Thailand’s engagement with the Fund in the context of the latter’s Readiness Programme.
Meanwhile, the project is also building the capacities of the national focal point for the country’s NAMA (nationally appropriate mitigation actions), which is hosted by the Climate Change Management and Coordination Division within the ministry. This involves the provision of training on key aspects of NAMAs to enhance the focal point’s capacity to coordinate the development and implementation process.
Reflecting the significance of the energy sector to climate change issues, the project is also working with the Ministry of Energy (MoE), supporting its efforts to achieve the national development goals for renewable energy. In particular, this includes collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for an assessment of renewable energy potentials in different regions of Thailand. Three related analyses have been completed so far. These are currently being discussed by MoE and its local energy offices, with the aim of integrating renewable energy targets in the provincial plans of the pilot provinces.
The project supports implementation of the Climate Change Master Plan at the sub-national level by running a training programme for numerous pilot provinces and municipalities on developing municipal climate change action plans and integrating them into local development plans.
To enable Thailand to play a more proactive role in international climate change negotiations and increase its ability to communicate specific positions, the project is assisting its partners’ efforts to improve the coordination of donor inputs in the field of climate change. This increases the interaction between different projects, especially those financed under the International Climate Initiative. It is also strengthening the position of the Climate Change Management and Coordination Division as national coordinating authority for climate change in Thailand.
The project organises twice-yearly exchange events between the Thai and German environment ministries to deepen and enhance the cohesion of their cooperation in the field of climate change.
The project has supported the Thai Government in developing its ambitious Climate Change Policy, and in the implementation of that policy at national, provincial and local levels. This is strengthening Thailand’s contributions to the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
As well as supporting the development and implementation of Thailand’s national climate change policy framework, the project also facilitates the cooperation and dialogue between MoNRE and BMUB. In this way, it has contributed to the knowledge exchange between Thailand and Germany on climate change policy and low carbon development.
The project has encouraged the use of synergies between ongoing projects funded by the International Climate Initiative and has contributed to the better coordination of other international support projects and mechanisms.
A series of guidelines and training programmes have been developed, and regular capacity building events have been held for the key players in the implementation of Thailand’s climate change policy framework, at national, provincial and local levels.