Hua Hin, 15 September 2023 | The GCoM Asia Project, in coordination with the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO) and National Municipal League of Thailand (NMT), successfully organised their most recent National Workshop in Thailand. With the launching of Climate Action Plans (CAPs) from 4 GCoM Pilot Cities in Thailand as the main highlight, the workshop was attended by around 170 participants from 72 cities across Thailand.
Under the theme “Towards Sustainable Municipalities,” the workshop discussed resourceful topics regarding the backgrounds and insights of CAPs, the tools to support Thai cities in achieving CAP goals, as well as the significance of climate reporting. Prominent experts from various institutions, such as TGO, UCLG ASPAC, CDP, and Chulalongkorn University, took part in the workshop with exemplary presentations for Thai city representatives to refer to their CAPs.
Opening Session: General Introduction and Context Setting
The opening session of the national workshop was aimed at introducing GCoM as the preeminent worldwide coalition dedicated to championing climate leadership at the city level. Moderated by Ms. Asih Budiati, Team Leader of the GCoM Asia Project, the opening session had the remarks of Ms. Sara Rezoagli (Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to Thailand) – via video message, Mr. Nopporn Wutthikul (Mayor of Hua Hin), and Mr. Phibun Hatthakitkoson (Secretary of Foreign Affairs Department of the NMT). The workshop was officially opened by Mr. Rongphet Bunchuaydee (Deputy Director of TGO).
Mr. Rendy Primrizqi, Coordinator of GCoM Southeast Asia (SEA), Secretariat of UCLG ASPAC, delivered a speech on the benefits of joining GCoM to achieve sustainable goals for cities. He presented steps on how city representatives can acquire GCoM membership through a process comprised of commitment letter signing, CAP submission, CAP implementation, as well as periodical monitoring and reporting. He promoted GCoM SEA’s three key areas in building collaborative efforts within signatories, including Capacity Building, CAP Development, and Climate Financing.
CAPs Launching from 4 GCoM Asia Pilot Cities in Thailand
The session of the workshop proceeded with the launching of CAPs from 4 GCoM Asia Pilot Cities in Thailand: Suphanburi, Nonthaburi, Mae Hia, and Hua Hin. egin the launch session, a representative from Suphanburi was the first to present their municipality’s CAPs with an emphasis on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals as well as mitigation measures and adaptation plans to achieve the goals. Following that, the CAPs from Nonthaburi also focused on GHG emission reduction through mitigation and adaptation for the city.
Meanwhile, Mae Hia specifically emphasised their CAPs in sustainable economic development, envisioned as a “Happiness Society.” Mae Hia representatives presented the implementations of their CAPs comprising LED lighting, green footprint improvement, and mitigation blueprints. Lastly, the city representative of Hua Hin envisioned Hua Hin as the “City of Happiness” as their concept for a smart city is based on various efforts, including GHG emission reduction as well as disaster and climate change effect management.
Session 1: Showcase of Climate Action Initiatives
Moderated by Ms. Tharee Kamueang of GCoM Asia Thailand, this session gave the opportunity for participating cities to present their innovative climate action projects, policies, and best practices. Served as a prologue to the first session, a presentation regarding the background of CAPs was delivered by Prof. Orathai Chavalprit of Chulalongkorn University. He presented a comprehensive background the methodology of establishing a CAP, measuring GHG reduction, and yje policy guidelines for CAP and SDGs respectively.
The session then proceeded with a presentation from Mr. Teerati Prateep (Environmentalist Practitioner, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration) to set examples for Thai cities through Bangkok’s climate change initiative known as the “Bangkok Master Plan on Climate Change.” The initiative has made remarkable achievements in climate action, such as exceeding the 2012-2023 GHG reduction target (targeted at 13.57%, achieved 24% reduction rate) and the potential to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Session 2: Driving Climate Action: Showcasing Government Tools to Support Thai Cities in Achieving Thailand’s Climate Goals
In this session, TGO and UCLG ASPAC highlighted their commitment to sharing practical resources and tools to support Thai Cities in achieving climate-related goals. The session was moderated by Mr. Michel Mouchiroud of European Union Delegation to Thailand as Deputy Head of the Regional Team – Service for Foreign Policy Regional Team for Asia-Pacific.
Mr. Jakgrapong Yamyim as the Director of Low Carbon City and Society Office of TGO presented Thailand’s mitigation mechanisms and carbon market system in regard to the nation’s goals in achieving carbon neutrality and net-zero GHG emissions. This showcase also presented a series of crucial measures, including the increase of renewable energy usage, adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), coal phase-out, advanced carbon capture technology implementations, hydrogen energy transition, as well as carbon sequestration enhancement. Mr. Yamyim also presented the establishment of Thailand’s state-of-the-art Carbon Credit Mechanism known as the Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Program (T-VER).
The second tool was presented by Mr. Agung Zulhatta, Research and Learning Officer of UCLG ASPAC. He provided insights regarding the resourceful key tool to climate change governance in Thailand through the City Enabling Environment (CEE) Rating. Also known as The City Enabling Environment Assessment on Environmental & Climate Change Government (CEEECG) 2023, this tool operates based on several criteria: legal, regulation, policy, governance, science, policy support, bureaucracy, human capital, local government units (LGUs) performance, financing, resource, and public participation. Mr. Zulhatta concluded the presentation by stating that, overall, the CEEECG 2023 assessment tool provides valuable insights into the enabling environment for environmental and climate governance in Thailand, highlighting areas for improvement and opportunities for further development.
Session 3: Measuring City Impact: Reporting Emissions
Served as the final session of the national workshop, the session delivered the importance of climate reporting. The presentation was aimed at the discourse on why cities should report, and how to do it effectively with insights on data collection and measurement tools and real-world examples of how this data-driven approach impacts policymaking, urban planning, and sustainability initiatives. Ms. Karishma Kasyap of CDP were invited as speakers to provide details regarding the reporting platform through the CDP-ICLEI Track. The presentation revolved around information about CDP and how they work with cities and mechanisms regarding the report which comprised of reporting process through GCoM and scoring through CDP. Connected with nearly 20,000 entities from various companies, cities, states, and regions, CDP has provided a comprehensive database capable of offering network access, services and knowledge exchange, as well as transparency and accountability. CDP also introduced its reporting roadmap for 2023 to ensure the transparency provided by the platform.
After the session ended, the entire GCoM National Workshop in Thailand was officially ended through closing remarks. The National Workshop hoped to share insights and exemplary implementations of CAPs for Thai Cities as well as strengthen connections between cities and various stakeholders who were present during the event.
Written by: Laudza Fajrul Falakh
Reviewed by: Rona Ikram Putri