The private sector supports the government’s commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065 and would like to see a five-year plan that could help businesses comply with the goal, says Krit Jitjang, president of Kasikornbank Plc.
Businesses in recent years have been investing more in green financial platforms. Mr Krit said during a panel discussion on green finance at Sustainability Expo 2022 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center on Saturday.
One example is the increasing amount of private environmental, social and governance (ESG) bond issuance, which rose by 64%, from 8.3 billion baht in 2018 to 13.6 billion baht in 2020.
A similar trend is being seen in green bonds, with the value having risen from US$1.7 billion (64 billion baht) in 2020 to $2.6 billion in 2021, or a 53% increase.
Mr Krit said the country has good basic infrastructure for doing business, but business owners need to invest a lot if they want to turn their businesses green.
Unfortunately, few see an incentive to adopt green concepts.
The government has told the global community it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065. But the problem is that there are no incentives, nor is there a clear action plan to guide business owners, especially small and medium enterprises, said Mr Krit.
“The government should set up a five-year plan as a guideline for businesses as it will help boost the confidence needed to make this happen,” he said.
Giorgio Gamba, chief executive officer of HSBC Thailand, said sustainable finance in Thailand and Asean was growing strongly, even during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At COP26 last year in Scotland, he said his bank supported the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM), a combination of controlling or retiring coal-fired power plants and simultaneously developing renewable energy.
The ETM initiative is led by the Asian Development Bank and supported by governments, as well as private and philanthropic organisations in Asia.
The aim is to reduce the use of coal power by 50% in pilot countries, he said.
Manpong Senanarong, senior executive vice-president and head of the Issuer & Listing Division at the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), said the SET is aware of which companies have clear policies and action plans for a green business ecosystem.
He said the SET has a working group that seeks to ensure that all sustainable finance initiatives will materialise.