State mulls incentives to drive green push
The government is considering the provision of tax incentives for companies that participate in the government's ongoing efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Jinanggoon Rojananan, deputy secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council, said tax incentives are needed to entice the Thai private sector to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in line with the government's efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065.
Thailand produces about 250 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, of which 100 million tonnes stem from electricity generation.
Ms Jinanggoon said the Thai private sector is preparing to work with the government to achieve such goals, and many firms are getting ready to enter the carbon market.
She cited a survey by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) in 2021 that found 70% of 45 industrial groups agreed with the country's long-term ambitions in terms of climate action.
Some 10,000 companies have already submitted their registration with the Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Program (T-VER).
T-VER was launched in 2013 by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) as a project-based voluntary scheme to promote and support all sectors participating in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction programme and to sell reduction units or carbon credit.
TGO prescribed rules and procedures for project development, GHG emission reduction methodology, and the certification of emissions reduction credit. All projects participating in the T-VER programme must reduce GHG emissions.
Ms Jinanggoon said the government also needs to accelerate the promotion of investment in high technology and the purchase of carbon credits, as such methods can also help reduce emissions.
The carbon market is one tool the OECD and World Economic Forum have said has the lowest operating cost and can help to reduce emissions in terms of value.
Many countries are using these tools to reduce GHG emissions.
In 2021, the carbon market was implemented in 45 countries, while more than 65 countries are considering implementing it.
Carbon credit sales tallied US$851 billion last year.
Ms Jinanggoon said it is a challenge for Thailand to use carbon credits to reduce GHG emissions because the volume of carbon trade here remains relatively low compared with other countries.
Thailand also lacks a trading and exchange platform, although the FTI is developing a carbon credit exchange platform it hopes will become the main platform for carbon trade.
She said Thailand should establish a carbon credit trading database to provide transparency and reliability in monitoring emissions.
The criteria for reducing GHG emissions should conform with the country's goals, such as a baseline level of emissions from each industry and a requirement for a carbon taxation should be enacted, said Ms Jinanggoon.
She said building awareness and supporting community participation could reduce environmental problems and generate income for the community.