Thailand Thailand

Thailand drops five ranks from last year’s CCPI, to 31st, and is rated as a medium-performing country.

The country maintains its medium rating in all four CCPI categories: GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, Energy Use, and Climate Policy.

For the National Climate Policy indicator, Thailand is rated medium. The CCPI experts point out the main problem for climate policy performance is foremost due to a lack of capacity and resources in governmental agencies, the private sector, and the public for preparing and implementing more ambitious climate actions. The experts do, however, see positive signals in mitigation measures in the energy and transport sectors under the National Appropriate Mitigation Actions of 2015. Thailand’s government is now formulating its Long-term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy, which will set a stronger guideline for reaching carbon neutrality, which in turn would be a basis for making its subsequent Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) more ambitious.

Despite the above, the experts criticise the national targets in the renewable energy sector (36% in 2036) as not being 1.5°C-compatible, and even the access to financial support measures for renewables, already in place, being limited. Regarding energy efficiency, the experts emphasise the importance of a more robust national plan for implementation across all sectors, including buildings, appliances, and transportation. In October 2020, Thailand presented its updated first NDC. The country commits to a 20% reduction in GHG emissions compared with a business-as-usual scenario by 2030. This can rise to 25%, conditional on international support. The experts evaluate this target as insufficient and are concerned about the planned coal fleet expansions, which, if realised, would postpone the possible coal phase-out until 2069.

The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI: Boonrod Yaowapruek (The Creagy), Tara Buakamsri (Greenpeace Southeast Asia), Climate Groups

Technical note: how to read the target comparison graph

The graph above shows the development of a country over the past years compared with its Paris compatible pathway and 2030 target. For all three quantitative categories of the CCPI, this visualisation gives an overview of where a country is right now, where it would need to be to fulfil the Paris Agreement promises and where it aims to be in 2030.

For GHG emissions per capita, the data includes LULUCF, as used for the emissions per capita indicator. This leads to the vast changes in emissions of some countries with high forest coverage.
The calculation of individual country target pathways is based on the common but differentiated convergence approach (CDC). It is based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” laid forth in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. All Annex I countries therefore have a decreasing pathway from 1990 onwards, starting at that year’s emissions. 60 years later, in 2050, these countries are expected to reach net zero emissions. All other countries, which did not reach the level of global average emissions in 1990, are allowed to increase emissions until the average is reached. But by latest 2015 these countries, too, have decreasing pathways and 60 years to reach net zero. These pathways start from the global average.

The Renewable Energy data is given in per cent of Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and includes hydro energy, consistent with the respective CCPI indicator. As global distribution of Renewables (especially solar and wind) only started in the 2000s, the pathways in this category start in 2010. All countries have an equal goal: 100% Renewables in 2050, each starting from its 2010 value.

For Energy Use the Primary Energy Supply per capita is shown. All pathways for this category start at country’s 1990 values and meet at global average of 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.
For 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, a decrease in emissions by reducing the (growth in) energy use is as crucial as deploying renewable (or other low-carbon) technologies. The IPCC carried out a scenario comparison using a large number of integrated assessment models. From the scenarios available, we observe that the total amount of global energy use in 2050 has to be roughly the same level or a bit higher than it is today, with a margin of uncertainty. At the same time population will grow slightly between today and 2050. We therefore pragmatically chose the well-below-2° compatible benchmark to be “same energy use per capita in 2050 as the current global average”, which is 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.