Thailand steams for greenhouse law

Thailand is pushing for legislation on greenhouse gas emission reporting, aiming to have a voluntary carbon market established by October 2013, said the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO).

Prasertsuk Chamornmarn, TGO deputy executive director and acting executive director, said having a law in place is essential as Thailand is expected to join other developing countries committed to reducing GHG emission after 2020.

Thailand has pioneered a voluntary regime for carbon trading that includes corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

"From now until 2020, we have only a voluntary regime in place but beyond that developing countries are required to come up with a mandatory emission reduction target," said Ms Prasetsuk.

The TGO has been working on a law that obliges corporations to report their GHG emissions. The final draft is expected to be submitted to a national committee on climate change, chaired by the prime minister, and the cabinet next year before it is sent to parliament, she added.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed economies have committed to cut 10-15% of the global GHG emission. To meet a challenging target of preventing a 2-degree world temperature rise, developing nations need to make a similar commitment by 2015 to cut emissions by 48% by 2020.

Dirk Forrister, president and CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association, said carbon-trading transactions were valued at US$175 billion last year, of which $100 billion were dominated by Europe.

A positive development is being seen as more Asian governments are taking concrete steps to combat climate change.

Australia has set up a national carbon-trading scheme and vowed to link its carbon market with the European Union bourse in 2015. India has introduced its own trading platform while China is gearing up to pilot trading schemes with a view to setting up a nationwide scheme in 2015. The Korean parliament passed a bill earlier this year to establish a carbon market by 2020.

As much as $200 billion worth of annual investment in clean energy by 2020 is required to achieve the goal of preventing a 2-degree temperature rise, according to Mr Forrister.

Meanwhile, Thailand will host the 7th Carbon Forum Asia from Oct 30-31, which is expected to draw over 1,000 international participants. Singapore previously hosted Asia's leading trade fair and conference six times.

About the author

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Writer: Nareerat Wiriyapong
Position: Business Reporter