Kingdom aims to cut emissions 25%

Kingdom aims to cut emissions 25%

Roadside inspections catch a belching diesel bus, which was ordered off the Bangkok streets. Thailand is expected to formally set goals in emission cuts next week. (File photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)
Roadside inspections catch a belching diesel bus, which was ordered off the Bangkok streets. Thailand is expected to formally set goals in emission cuts next week. (File photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

Thailand will clarify its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20-25% within 2030 at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21, in Paris next month.

Prasert Sirinapaporn, director of Climate Change Management and the Coordination Division of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, said Thailand submitted its new climate action plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last month.

Thailand proposed its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) plan which pledged to reduce 20-25% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The 20% is a goal to be achieved by the country's resources alone while the additional 5% will require international support in terms of finance, know-how and technology.

Speaking at a recent meeting at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) of Thailand's headquarters, he said four sectors which will focus on reducing emissions at the beginning of the plan are energy, transport, waste and industry.

The convention assessed INDCs submitted by 170 countries including Thailand. The plans have the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.74C by 2100. The forecast doesn't meet the target of 2C, which some scientific studies have found to be the level that will prevent severe consequences of climate change.

Speaking at the meeting, Luisa Ragher, minister-counsellor, deputy head of delegation of the European Union to Thailand, said the Paris conference is likely to reach an international climate agreement. The agreement will keep global average temperature increase below 2C.

Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have stayed higher than 350 parts per million -- the upper safety limit-- since early 1988, she said, citing scientific findings.

The EU, comprising 28 countries, has pledged to reduce 40% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, she said.

It plans to implement policies to achieve the target through three means: by increasing renewable energy use by more than 27%, increasing energy efficiency by more than 27%, increasing interconnectivity by 15%.

The EU even has an ambitious plan to cut emissions to zero by 2100, she said.

Between 1990 and 2012, GDP increased by 44% while emissions fell 18%, which proves that economic growth can be achieved alongside cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Ms Ragher said.

One of the main policies, she said, is increasing renewable energy use as the EU relies heavily on imported fossil fuels.

She said the success was also due to the involvement of the business sector and citizens.

The EU has called for other nations to set a long-term goal to solve climate problems, in line with the latest science has to offer.

Strict transparency and accountability rules are needed to create confidence and trust that the countries party to the agreement will deliver on their commitments, she said.

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