New bill to prioritise climate goals
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New bill to prioritise climate goals

A civil society group is planning to submit to parliament a bill which it says aims to speed up climate goals while ensuring the rights of local communities to the natural resources in their areas.

Kritsada Boonchai, coordinator of Thai Climate Justice for All, said the draft law, which is the group's first, aims to contribute to the global commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, tackling climate change is a slow process, Mr Kritsada said. The group's bill aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 as opposed to 2050 and net zero emissions by 2065 as opposed to 2050, he added. This bill was drafted on the global principles of human rights, he noted.

Climate goals can be achieved earlier if the government moves ahead to promptly phase out fossil fuel consumption, increase the production of renewable energy and encourage single-crop plantations to switch to eco-agriculture, he said. These are crucial in reducing and limiting greenhouse emissions, he added.

The bill also covers climate change adaptation issues and measures related to community rights in the access to information, such as early warning data, to mitigate losses, he said. Moreover, it promotes local community and indigenous groups' right to natural resources, including food. "We found that the climate change bill written by the state agency has deprived human rights," he said.

"Our version was written to pave the way for justice. Under the principle of the loss and damage fund, people affected by climate change would be compensated," he added.

The bill also aims to prevent the "greenwashing" of carbon credits in the industrial sector, he said. If passed, a carbon tax system would be implemented in certain industries, such as cement and petrochemical. The tax would be put into a Green Transition Fund, with half to be used for loss and damage compensation.

"If the law is passed, we will see a big change in the climate change plan. A climate change commission will be set up as a regulator, making things move ahead [faster] under the plan," he said. The group will submit the bill to parliament on Thursday. If approved, the group needs to 10,000 signatures of approval from the public before it can be read in parliament.

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