Gen Prayut delivered his remarks at the World Leaders Summit during the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as COP26, reports the Bangkok Post.
In response to calls for countries to be more decisive in acting on the issue, Gen Prayut assured all present at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, United Kingdom, of Thailand’s readiness to work with all countries and all sectors to fight global warming.
“I took the opportunity to express Thailand’s willingness to be more aggressive in addressing climate change using every means possible, in order to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050, and net zero emissions on or before 2065,” Gen Prayut said.
He went on to say that with adequate, timely and equitable technology transfer and cooperation, and most importantly, access to ample green financing facilities, Thailand can increase its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to 40% and reach net zero emissions in 2050.
He also said that as host of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in 2022, the country has set the Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model or BCG as the theme of the event.
The prime minister said that the main reason he participated in the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) in Paris and became one of the first leaders to ratify the Paris Agreement was that Thailand’s total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions constituted 0.72% of the world’s total, but was one of the 10 countries most severely affected by atmospheric degradation.
Thailand has since fulfilled every pledge it made to the international community, fully and unremittingly, he said.
He also told COP26 delegates that Thailand has set its Nama (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) goal under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce GHGs from the energy and transport sectors by at least 7% by 2020.
However, in 2019, the country reduced GHG emissions by 17%, which was double the target and one year ahead of schedule. Thailand was also among the first nations to submit the NDC and the Long-Term Low GHG Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) to the UNFCCC, and has put in place plans at both national and local levels, Gen Prayut said.
Gen Prayut also called on all nations to protect and care for the world as there is no “Plan B” for climate action in the form of a “Planet-B”.
Following the summit, the prime minister joined members of the UK Royal Family and other world leaders at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for a dinner reception.
Gen Prayut was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Varawut Silpa-archa at the two-day summit.
In Bangkok, Wanchai Phanomchai, Director-General of the Department of Industrial Works (DIW), said the industrial sector has realised the importance of protecting the environment and the ozone layer by promoting the use of less harmful chemicals.
As a signatory to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, Thailand is committed to phasing out the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2040, Mr Wanchai said.
Imports of HCFCs for next year will be limited to no more than 390 Ozone Depleting Substance (ODP) tonnes, a reduction of 588 ODP tonnes, compared with 2013, he said.
The DIW is currently undertaking the second phase of a project to reduce the use of HCFCs, which started last year and will run until 2023.
Financed by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, the project is aimed at providing financial aid and know-how to spray foam manufacturers, and refrigerator manufacturers to support them to shift to other environmentally friendly chemicals.
Of note, a report issued only in September by Climate Action Tracker, a collaboration of two scientific organisations, Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute, rated progress by Thailand in upholding its commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord as “Critically Insufficient”.