Revised NDC Action Plan: Thailand Steps up Transport Efforts

Transportation’s Astonishing Achievements Against the Clock

A new challenge emerges: Heatwaves, flooded streets, and congestion have already become a reality in Thailand. Global climate change, a significant worldwide concern, has already made its presence felt in Bangkok and other regions of the country. In order to combat the climate crisis, the Thai Government has submitted the Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 8 November 2022. This strategy outlines the country’s vision to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2065. Currently, the nation is actively working on updating its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with a new ambitious target for mitigating emissions.

All hands-on deck for tackling the challenges in Thailand’s transport sector

The new NDC target for transportation aims to achieve a 30-40% reduction compared to Business as Usual (BAU), which has been raised from the initial target of 20-25%. The NDC Action Plan is vital in establishing the framework of measures for its mitigation goal in 2030. The accomplishment of the plan can provide a sound basis for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of a measure, which can be scaled up into a policy in the Long-Term Low Greenhouse Development Strategy, aiding Thailand in achieving its goals in the long term.

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) has established the 1st working group for the revision of the NDC action plan with transport-related organizations. Alongside the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), OTP is co-organising a series of workshops involving representatives from 25 agencies to explore appropriate mitigation measures and prioritize initiatives for a more environmentally friendly and robust transportation sector in alignment with Thailand’s objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by 2065.

Mr. Surapong Meantmitr, Deputy Director of OTP, presided over the workshop’s opening ceremony on Wednesday, 3 May, 2023. Dr. Dominika Kalinowska, Director of the Transport Sector Project for Thailand/ASEAN GIZ, emphasized the technical support that GIZ and the national expert team will provide for the NDC action plan. The workshop gathered representatives from 25 relevant agencies with almost 100 participants, including internal and external stakeholders associated with the Ministry of Transport.

The challenge is huge, but it is feasible as long as we examine not only the identified reduction measures but put equal emphasis on the analysis of the methodological and other gap sand requirements that are needed for a more advanced policy framework assessment and design, but still have to be developed.

Dr. Dominika Kalinowska, Director of the Transport Sector Project Thailand/ ASEAN
Stakeholder consultation for road transport guided by national experts
©Papondhanai Nanthachatchavankul, GIZ Thailand

During the workshop, Mrs. Chutinthorn Mankhong, Head of the Sustainable Transport Promotion Group at the Bureau of Safety Plans, provided an overview of the country’s GHG reduction initiatives and outlined plans to decrease emissions in the transport sector. She also stated that the workshop enhances the understanding of participating organisations about suitable mitigation actions.

Consultation with implementers is key

Transport stakeholders for NDC Action Plan revision in Thailand
©Papondhanai Nanthachatchavankul, GIZ Thailand

To be in line with Thailand’s new NDC and LT-LEDS goal, brainstorming opinions from relevant agencies for the improvement and update of the current NDC action plan in the transport sector is crucial.

The workshop’s participants provided insights into the strategic actions to be taken, the timelines for their implementation, and these results will be taken as the basis for updating GHG emission reduction mitigation potential of the revised NDC Action Plan. By enhancing understanding, reviewing existing actions, and prioritising initiatives, the workshop has laid the foundation for a greener, more resilient transport sector that aligns with the urgent need to combat climate change.

Read more about the projects from Thailand here.

This activity is funded by three projects: 1) Climate, Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Project: (CCMB), 2) NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA), 3) Thai-German Cooperation on Energy, Mobility and Climate (TGC EMC).

NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. It supports China, India, and Viet Nam as well as regional and global decarbonisation strategies to increase the ambition around low-carbon transport. 

Tuc tuc on the road in Thailand ©Carlos Pardo, GIZ flickr

Papondhanai Nanthachatchavankul, Bangkok

10 Principles for Sustainable Urban Transport