Report finds most Thais don’t understand climate change

PHOTO: Even with over 40,000 floods in 30 years, Thai people are ignorant about climate change. (via Flicker / Water Alternatives Photos)

A recent report by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has revealed that most Thais have a limited understanding of the impact of climate change on the planet. Only 35% of Thais believe that the use of fossil fuels should be reduced. This reflects a general lack of awareness about climate change and what causes it.

Oddly, the same report showed that 75% of Thai respondents surveyed by Meta and Yale University last year acknowledged that climate change would have a moderate to severe effect on future generations. A full 68% also acknowledged that the issue was close to them.

Yet, only 40% of respondents believed that climate change should be addressed by the government and business sectors. Only 28% of survey respondents said that everyone should take responsibility.

A global survey by the UN Development Programme and Oxford University in 2021 found that 64% of respondents considered climate change to be a global issue, with 59% stating that many countries should address the problem as soon as possible.

The NESDC report also cited a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report, which stated that between 2000 and 2019, 7,348 natural disasters occurred globally, resulting in the deaths of 1.23 million people and affecting more than 4.2 billion others. The global economy suffered damages of approximately US$2.97 trillion (about 100 trillion baht) over that period.

And it’s not like Thailand is sheltered from the effects of climate change. A look at the last few months of weather news illustrates the country’s clear suffering. Heavy rains in Thailand have resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 people and caused damages worth 12.59 trillion baht over the past 30 years. That’s more than 40,000 floods that have affected citizens.

The country was hit by severe flooding in 2011. And then again in 2021, a flood crisis caused damages of up to 53 billion baht.

The 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report revealed that global temperatures have risen by 1 degree Celsius. The NESDC emphasized that everyone should be aware of this issue.

“Many people may blame natural disasters on the government’s failure in disaster management, but these surveys have proved that the real reason is climate change. These studies indicate that global warming is closer than people think.”

Report finds most Thais don't understand climate change | News by Thaiger

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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