Climate change: Thai businesses warned of ‘global boiling,’ rising power costs

Climate change is ushering in "global boil" with temperatures and power costs rising. Thai businesses must react. (via Eurasia Review)

The United Nations has warned of the global boiling – the intense rise in temperatures and associated power costs we are seeing now, which are predicted to only worsen in the future. Thailand witnessed an unprecedented rise in electricity bills and an all-time high average temperature in July.

This salient shift in weather patterns is leading businesses and governments to consider climate change as an integral aspect of their planning strategies.

Sanan Angubolkul, who helms the Thai Chamber of Commerce, opined that climatic upheavals and global warming are impacting the nation’s agricultural and food sectors significantly. Having grave implications for Thailand’s exports and household incomes, these climate changes are incredibly influential on the country’s food security.

Whilst the government has shown determination in striving for carbon neutrality by 2050 and a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2065, corporate organisations, particularly larger ones, are gradually recognising the need to take stringent measures. Chaichan Chareonsuk, the leader of the Thai National Shippers’ Council, stressed the importance of businesses strategising for volatile weather conditions and temperature spikes.

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Due to their immense bearing on the nation’s economy, extreme and prolonged fluctuations in these weather factors could potentially decimate the agricultural sector and its dependent supply chains.

However, in the face of the UN’s grim prognosis about the heightened frequency of natural disasters, businesses are slow to respond. Cherdsak Wattanavijitkul, President of TPC Power Holding cited that only a handful have taken actual steps to slash carbon dioxide emissions.

To prevent catastrophic scenarios such as the average global temperature rising by beyond two degrees Celsius, thereby surpassing the UN’s threshold target, Cherdsak stressed the need for effectual efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Facing these dire predictions, cooperation from both private and public sectors plays a pivotal role. Large-scale domestic companies like PTT – a national oil and gas conglomerate, and Siam Cement Group – an industrial conglomerate, have already pledged carbon neutrality as part of their corporate campaigns.

Incentives and initiatives to inspire smaller corporate entities to emulate this strategy are crucial in this fight against climate change.

In response to this escalating environmental problem, the Thai government has demonstrated its commitment to actively addressing climate change. This resolve is reflected in its intent to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and a net-zero greenhouse gas emission balance by 2065.

These pledges were made by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in 2021.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director-general of the Excise Department, said that due to Thailand’s economy being predominantly export-based, it is imperative to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles in business operations. The government has taken decisive steps to fight climate change, reducing or completely waiving excise taxes for environmentally-friendly products while levying full taxes on those who do not comply.

Amid these strategising efforts stands the Federation of Thai Industries, promoting the sales of greenhouse gas reductions, known as carbon credits, as a means to combat global warming and climate change. The effective utilisation of this method can not only allow companies to offset their carbon dioxide emissions but also extract additional corporate revenue from these environmentally conscious efforts.

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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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