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Thailand must take climate threat seriously: experts

Published on 19 September 2014 Thailand

The government has been urged to put "climate change" on the national agenda in order to boost the country's credibility in future international climate talks.

Dr Natarika Wayuparb, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management (TGO)'s deputy executive director, said the Kingdom should pioneer new policies by addressing climate change problems at a serious level.

"Thailand needs to make a serious attempt to show we have the right policy to ensure [addressing] climate change issues are moved from a local level into an international one," she said. "We have seen good examples from international agencies such as the UN or EU that have clear policies on climate change improvement."

Other than making it an urgent issue, Natarika said the government should develop a nationally appropriate mitigation actions list in preparation for the "Road to Paris 2015''. Scientists, economists, and environmental specialists are set to meet in the French capital to work towards a climate change policy agreement in 2020.

Natarika was speaking yesterday at a "global joint action day on climate change", hosted by the EU delegation, the British Embassy and the German Embassy together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Meanwhile, Suwanna Jungrungrueng, director general of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)'s Environment Department, also agreed that climate change should be part of the national agenda, adding that proper education is the best way to raise awareness.

"At present, public awareness of the problem of climate change is slow [and] it should be promoted more on a national level. For this reason, introducing it through education by motivating students and schools to become environmentally friendly will help them comprehend the climate change problems as well as encourage them to find solutions," Suwanna said.

She added that the BMA was well aware of high gas emissions from various activities in Bangkok and that it had a master plan on carbon emission. This includes improving building electricity consumption efficiency and expanding park areas.

Paul Bute, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy, said cooperation from a variety of sectors would help resolve the climate change issue.

"We recognise that climate change impact can be tackled seriously, but no one group can solve the problem."

Bute said search for answers must come from collaboration among all sectors and the public must reflect on the issues.

Source: Asia One | 10 September 2014