Thailand makes climate-finance pitch in Dubai

Thailand makes climate-finance pitch in Dubai

Environment minister Phatcharavat tells COP28 talks that $100bn fund essential to help developing states

Thailand makes climate-finance pitch in Dubai
Activists rally in support of climate finance outside the venue of the COP28 talks in Dubai on Saturday. (Photo: Reuters)

Thailand has called for further action from its partners to achieve the goal of $100 billion in climate finance by 2025, saying it is crucial for helping developing nations to reach their climate targets.

Pol Gen Phatcharavat Wongsuwan, the minister of natural resources and environment, issued the call during an address to the COP28 global climate talks currently taking place in Dubai.

He also reaffirmed Thailand’s determination to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2065.

Pol Gen Phatcharavat said the country was making concrete and clear progress towards its goals, having updated its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to alleviate the impacts and risks of climate change.

The plan covers key areas such as water management, agriculture and food security, tourism, public health, natural resources and environment management, as well as human settlement and security.

Thailand, he said, was expected to reach peak emissions in 2025. Meanwhile, studies have shown that the share of renewable fuel sources in electricity generation will need to reach 68% in 2040 — compared with about 15% now — and 74% by 2050 for the country to reach carbon neutrality.

“We are also moving towards phasing down fossil fuel in line with our 2050 Carbon Neutrality goal,” the minister added.

In the agricultural sector, a climate-smart rice farming project is now being funded by the Green Climate Fund. The €38-million project is expected to promote low-emission rice farming and improve climate resilience among farmers.

“We are in the midst of enacting our first Climate Change Act, in which appropriate regulations would be set for greenhouse gas emissions. Capacity-building on climate resilience will also be enhanced in every sector,” Pol Gen Phatcharavat added.

He reiterated that the worldwide climate finance goal of $100 billion for a Loss and Damage Fund by 2025 is crucial for developing states.

In 2009, developed countries promised that starting from 2020, they would transfer $100 billion a year to poorer nations hit by worsening climate change-fuelled disasters. They later indicated the target would not be met until 2023, and are now hoping to secure commitments to meet the goal by 2025.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, contributions by developed nations and other participants reached $89.6 billion in 2021.

“No one and no country is spared from the adverse effects of climate change,” Pol Gen Phatcharavat told the meeting. “I am gratified that the Loss and Damage Fund has been established and will be materialised further at COP28.”

The fund is intended to help compensate vulnerable countries for the impacts of climate change, such as increasing extreme weather events. At COP 28, the United Arab Emirates said it would commit $100 million to the fund, with another $100 million coming from Germany, $17.5 million from the US and $10 million from Japan, according to The Guardian.

Pol Gen Phatcharavat expressed optimism that the Dubai talks “will set a firm pathway for all of us to achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius target under the Paris Agreement”.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Phatcharavat Wongsuwan (left) joins the Thai delegation at the COP28 talks in Dubai. (Photo: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Facebook)