Thai delegates not only learned from and exchanged with European and German public and private institutions, but also had the chance to see actual implementation of climate change projects.
Photo: GIZ/ Natee Thongchan
Thailand’s climate change and monetary governmental organisations recently acquired and exchanged knowledge, lessons learnt and case studies with international and German institutions on the topic of climate finance.
From 20-24 May 2019, Thai delegates from public and private entities including the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (including the Climate Change Management and Coordination Division and the Environmental Fund Division), the Fiscal Policy Office, the Public Debt Management Office, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, the State Audit Office of the Kingdom of Thailand, Bank of Thailand, and the Thai Banker’s Association, attended a 5-day exchange visit in Germany. German and European public and private institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), the Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Deutsche Bank, German development bank (KfW) and the German Stock Exchange gave presentations and shared experiences on mobilising climate finance from different sources.
The exchange trip highlighted:
Possible policy instruments i.e. surcharge, carbon tax, climate initiative, etc. that could be used to leverage finance for climate-friendly investments
Green Climate Fund (GCF), its approaches and the benefits of its terms and policies for the business sector
The roles of the international, German and eventually also the Thai banking sector in mobilising climate finance, ensuring climate-friendly/sustainable investment
International best-practiceand business models behind climate finance
A site visit to view the actual implementation of projects was incorporated in the trip. An energy self-sufficient village project showed how energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind and biomass is fully and entirely used. This project is funded by public funds from the municipality, state government, EU and private companies. The second site was the city of Ludwigburg’s green living room project which provides green and self-sustained spaces in the urban areas while a parallel urban development project incorporates green and climate-resilient ideas into the development of residential housing.
“As a State Audit Officer, this study trip has enhanced my knowledge and understanding of climate change and climate finance as well as the financial tools and instruments that can be utilised not only to raise public awareness about climate change but also to promote public and private cooperation. Moreover, the exchange with international and German institutions has provided me with some ideas on how to monitor and evaluate the use of climate finance in Thailand in the future.” – Ms. Nuntida Buayam, the State Audit Office of Thailand.
The exchange provided the Thai delegates with a better understanding of climate finance policy and its mechanisms which they could apply in their work.
The trip was organised by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), as the Thai National Designated Authority (NDA) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), supported by GIZ, in the context of Thailand’s GCF Readiness work.
What is climate finance?
According to UNFCCC, climate finance refers to local, national or transnational financing from public, private and alternative sources of financing that seeks to support climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
Why does Thailand need climate finance?
Climate change is now a global issue and one that is inevitably affecting Thailand. According to GermanWatch, Thailand is one of top ten countries most affected by extreme weather events. In addition, the Thai Government has pledged to reduce GHG emissions by 20% by 2030 and this could go up to 25% with international support. To be able to achieve those targets, Thailand needs to allocate funds from the national budget to invest in mitigation as well as adaptation projects to prevent and reduce the risk from climate change that will affect the population.
Does Thailand currently have finance to tackle climate change?
The majority of climate finance in Thailand comes from the national budget. In comparison with Germany, there is a little allocation of private funds to mitigation projects such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. ONEP, in cooperation with GIZ, has worked for a few years to mobilise public funds from all means, engage the private sector as well as increase accessibility to international sources of funds in this regard.