Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Thailand.
While the country is making steps in tackling the climate crisis, its targets are too weak to effectively combat its greenhouse gas emissions, with environmental group Greenpeace calling them ‘unambitious’. The Thai government responded by saying that climate change policies should not compromise economic development and that Thailand’s targets are ‘a good fit for the country’s current situation’. The government however said that it will propose a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target at the next COP climate talks.
In its latest Power Development Plan (PDP), the government maintains fossil fuels as the primary source of energy, and new gas power plants and waste-to-energy plants are planned in the PDP.
However, the country has drafted several plans and programs which aim to mitigate the climate crisis, including the PDP, the Climate Change Master Plan (CCMP), the Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP) and the Energy Efficiency Plan (EEP). The PDP sets a target to achieve a 20% share of power generation from renewable sources by 2036. The AEDP aims to achieve a 30% share of renewable energy in the total final energy consumption by 2036 and the EEP plans to reduce the country’s energy intensity by 30% below the 2010 level by 2036. Thailand is also planning to increase the country’s transportation capacity, a vehicle CO2 emissions tax scheme and tax incentives to promote investment in renewable energy, among other initiatives. The government has also said that it is open to implementing a carbon pricing scheme.
- Thailand’s nationally determined contribution consists of a 20% reduction in emissions by 2030 conditional on financial and technical assistance.
- Plans have been drafted to raise renewable energy share to 20% by 2036 and reduce energy intensity (relative to GDP) by 30% below 2010 level by 2036.
- Other minor policies have been added to cut emissions where possible. Thailand is taking steps in the right direction, but the efforts simply aren’t ambitious enough to conform to a 1.5°C hotter world.
You might also like: Global Emissions (2016)
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.