Webinar on “Southeast Asian Countries’ Updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Spotlight on Thailand”

In this webinar, Ms Chanutsakul Supirak from the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Thailand, discusses the planning process for Thailand’s 2020 NDC update, as well as the challenges in the implementation of its NDC in the coming years. This webinar is the final instalment of a webinar series on “Southeast Asian Countries’ Updated Nationally Determined Contributions”.


Wednesday, 24 March 2021 – The Climate Change in Southeast Asia Programme (CCSEAP) hosted a webinar on 24 March 2021 on Thailand’s updated 2020 NDC, which was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in October 2020. The webinar was moderated by Ms Melinda Martinus, Lead Researcher at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute’s ASEAN Studies Centre.

Ms Chanutsakul Supirak
Ms Chanutsakul Supirak spoke about Thailand’s journey in climate change policy development. Ms Melinda Martinus moderated the webinar. (Credit: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)

Ms Chanutsakul began by highlighting Thailand’s vulnerability to climate change. In 2011 and 2015, Thailand experienced major flooding and drought respectively, affecting millions of people and resulting in trillions of baht in economic losses. In order to prevent adverse impacts of climate hazards and help the country to transition to a low-carbon economy, Thailand has been enhancing the Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory System (TGEIS), a platform to monitor and quantify greenhouse emissions. She went on to describe the climate governance structure of Thailand. The National Committee on Climate Change Policy (NCCC) determines the national position towards international climate negotiations and oversees monitoring and implementation of climate change policy. It is comprised of public and private sector representatives, including experts from relevant agencies.

She went on to summarise Thailand’s journey in climate change policy development. Notably, Thailand launched the Climate Change Master Plan 2015-2050 together with its first NDC in 2015. In 2018, the NCCC approved NDC Sectoral Action Plans for the transport, waste management, energy, and industrial processes and product use (IPPU) sectors, as well as the National Adaptation Plan. Ms Chanutsakul informed the webinar that 2021 will mark the beginning of Thailand’s NDC implementation and the submission of its Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) to the UNFCCC.

Ms Chanutsakul then explained the planning process for Thailand’s NDC update in detail. Thailand established an ad-hoc Working Group on Updating NDC, which conducted stakeholder consultations together with the Sub-committee on Climate Change Negotiation and International Cooperation, and the Sub-committee on Climate Change Policy & Planning Integration, two bodies under the NCCC. The consultations involved various focal point agencies, which have incorporated the NDC target into their plans, such as the Power Development Plan and the Alternative Energy Development Plan. During these consultations, agencies took into consideration issues such as the economic impact of COVID-19, which may affect investment in mitigation measures and NDC implementation.

Thailand’s resulting NDC update reiterated the mitigation target from its 2015 NDC: a 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from projected Business-As-Usual levels in 2030, with a conditional target of 25% reduction. It also provided more information on its National Adaptation Plan, addressed the ongoing formulation of its LT-LEDS and identified its support needs.

During the Q&A session, Ms Chanutsakul answered questions on potential emissions reductions in the agricultural sector, considerations for the LT-LEDS, the domestic voluntary emissions reduction programme, and opportunities from the international carbon market cooperation.

30 participants attended the webinar. (Credit: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)