Bangkok / 14 March 2022 –The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), in collaboration with the Thai-German Climate Programme – Policy, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, organised a symposium titled “Thailand Climate Finance Conference: From International to Domestic Mechanism” with the aim of raising awareness about the significance of climate finance. A further objective was to share experiences of how international coupled with domestic climate finance can create enabling conditions to accelerate climate action. The role of the private sector in low-carbon development was also highlighted through a technical workshop to identify challenges, opportunities, and support the needs of the private sector in various industries in their transition efforts.
In this event, the experience and policy direction to create enabling conditions were showcased through a panel discussion among ONEP, the Bank of Thailand, the Thailand Board of Investment, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and GIZ. More than 200 representatives of government agencies, the private sector, the educational sector, the public sector, the media, and independent organisations attended the event.
In his keynote address, Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), emphasised that Thailand has ample opportunities for economic growth and job creation from a green economy, including the electric vehicle (EV) industry, the digital industry, sustainable tourism, manufacturing reusing or recycling raw materials, renewable energy industries, and even the agricultural industry, such as low methane rice, plant-based protein production, and the production of low methane animal feeds.
To this end, there is a need to accelerate low carbon transition in all sectors and industries and to use this crisis as an opportunity to transform investments to support green economic growth. It is also important to create added value and competitive strength in infrastructure, technology, education, and product manufacturing processes as well as promoting lifestyle change towards resource efficiency.
However, Thailand still needs a lot of international support in terms of finance, investment, technology transfer, and capacity building, especially in advanced technology with low emissions or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. All sectors, including the government, private sector, academic sector, people’s sector, and civil society, must be seriously aware of the problem of climate change, which is now at an important turning point and must be addressed before the impacts become irreversible.
ONEP, as the national focal point under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is well aware of the importance of raising awareness and accessing financial mechanisms to drive the country’s climate change action. Dr. Phirun Saiyasitpanich, Secretary-General of ONEP, added that following Thailand’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065, he was aiming at this symposium to make all sectors aware of climate change financing mechanisms and sources of funding for climate action. Listening to private sector opinions on the challenges of developing a low-emission business and the need for government support in order to be able to compete and develop a business with low greenhouse gas emissions is also vital.
In addition, Mr. Hans-Ulrich Suedbeck, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Economic Department, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Thailand delivered a welcome speech in which he stressed that Germany recognises the significance of climate finance as a means of implementation to transform political climate commitments into real action and that there is a need to collaborate and work as a partnership to address the climate crisis. The partnership in this region involves not only Germany and Thailand with their 160 years of relations but also Europe and ASEAN, all of whom are strongly engaged in a dialogue to address climate and other environmental challenges.
Addressing the climate crisis requires fundamental socio-economic transformation or a Green Transition, which needs an ambitious public policy to give direction and release the true potential and capacities of the private sector.
This is why the topic of climate finance does not only address public finance but should emphasise the need to design policies and the right incentives as catalysts to gear private sector investments to make a shift towards a climate-friendly and green transition.
Dr. Angkana Chalermpong
Director of Climate Policy Project
Thai-German Climate Programme (TGCP)
Tel: +66 2 298 6587-8