On 30 June 2021, 100 representatives from Thai government agencies, the German Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and international development organisations working together on a broad range of climate and environment topics in Thailand conferred virtually on the interlinkages between Thailand’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and climate-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the International Climate Initiative (IKI) Cooperation Meeting 2021.
Amidst the increasing impacts of climate change, all governments including Thailand have set their climate goals including mitigation to cut greenhouse gas emissions to achieve their NDCs as well as sought ways to adapt to the change. As a centrepiece of the 2030 Global Agenda in response to the urgent call for actions from all countries, SDGs set the targets for peace and prosperity of people and the planet, of which an integral aspect is addressing climate change threats.
In the opening remarks, Dr. Natthanich Asvapoositkul, Director of Climate Change Management and Coordination Division, ONEP stated: “The IKI family has this opportunity to come together to exchange on this platform and share best practices and lessons learned, with the objective to ensure that the projects within the family coordinate well and find synergy with one another. This is in order to effectively support advancing the climate and biodiversity policy agendas and implementation in Thailand, which will in turn help Thailand to contribute meaningfully to address the global threats of climate change and biodiversity loss, in line with sustainable development.”
Working together to support Thailand to achieve its climate targets, this IKI Cooperation Meeting mapped the interlinkages of these two agendas to identify how Thailand’s NDC implementation, supported by the IKI projects, co-benefits the climate-related SDGs in the context of Thailand. The IKI implementers were divided into groups of 5 sectors including climate policy and finance, energy and transport, agriculture, waste/industry/sustainable consumption and production and water/ natural resources and biodiversity. The result of the workshop provided the projects with potential synergies, tools, needs and more coherent policies.
Additionally, new IKI projects, namely 1) Digital solutions to reduce energy consumption in small hotels in Thailand; 2) Orientation of infrastructure investments on the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda in Central and Southeast Asia; (3) Reducing Maritime Transport Emissions in East and Southeast Asian Countries; and 4) National Ecosystem Assessment for Thailand, introduced themselves and shared their objectives. The meeting also offered an initial opportunity for existing IKI implementers and Thai partner agencies to exchange and identify potential for enhanced cooperation.
Speaking of the interconnections and co-benefits of the NDCs and the SDGs, Ms. Lola Mueller, Policy Officer, Division United Nations, Developing Countries and Emerging Economies, BMU, noted: “The 2030 Agenda represents a lighthouse with a view to the creation of policy measures that encompass the social, economic and environmental dimensions and helps us to transition, hopefully, as soon as possible to a greener economy. The Global Sustainable Development Report has highlighted that there is still much to be done. Specifically, climate and environmentally related SDGs are lagging behind their potential and also their level of implementation. The achievement of the Paris Goals and therefore also those of the climate and environmental SDGs can only be performed with long-term planning underpinned by short-term measures. That makes me all the happier that we are getting together today and we get to talk about our cooperation both in political terms as well as on a project basis. I am very much looking forward to the discussions in today’s event.”
Ms. Lioba Donner, Policy Officer, Division International Climate Initiative, BMU stated: “For over a decade, Thailand and Germany have worked closely together in the framework of BMU’s International Climate Initiative and beyond. Through our International Climate Initiative, BMU finances ambitious climate and biodiversity projects in developing and emerging countries. There are 4 bilateral projects with a volume of 36 Mio EUR and 25 regional and global projects supporting Thailand. We are very proud of the large number of projects that have established high-quality work in the country.”
To set the scene for the discussions, Ms. Pathitta Thumcharoen, Environmental Official from ONEP, provided some insights on the institutional framework and status quo of Thailand’s NDC implementation, while Dr. Thuttai Keeratipongpaiboon, Director of Strategy and International Cooperation Division, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council gave an overview of Thailand’s climate-related SDG implementation.
The meeting was organized by the IKI funded Thai-German Climate Programme, implemented by GIZ Thailand.
The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is a key element of BMU’s climate financing mechanism and the funding commitments made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Climate change mitigation, adaption to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity are focus areas. In Thailand, there are currently 29 ongoing projects that work either bilaterally with Thailand or engage Thailand in projects with several countries on a regional or global level. The Thai-German cooperation for climate and environmental protection, financed by the German International Climate Initiative (IKI), started more than 10 years ago. BMU has commissioned so-called interface projects in its key partner countries to host regular meetings in the country annually. The meeting provided a platform for Thai government agencies and IKI implementers to better understand how IKI projects implemented in Thailand support Thailand’s climate targets as stipulated in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.