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Thailand meets its emissions target as richer nations fail

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand meets its emissions target as richer nations fail | The Thaiger

by Pratch Rukivanarom

“Emissions in Thailand have also been higher this year, with the energy sector having released 196.5 tonnes of CO2 in the first nine months of this year, marking a 0.98 per cent increase compared to the same period last year,.”

The emissions of greenhouse gases has been rising for two years in a row, reversing efforts based on the Paris Agreement to control the rise in global temperatures and avert the impacts of climate change.

As world leaders gather at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, to find solutions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a preliminary outlook for this year’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

It worryingly indicates that there has been a 0.5 per cent rise in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions this year compared to previous years.

The IEA report points out that energy-related CO2 emissions from wealthy countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions has grown this year due to a higher consumption of oil and natural gas.

“Our data shows that despite a strong growth in solar and wind energy, emissions have started to rise again in advanced economies, highlighting the need for deploying technologies for energy efficiency,” Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director, said.

“This turnaround should be another warning to governments as they meet in Katowice this week. Increased efforts are needed to encourage more renewables, greater energy efficiency, more nuclear and more innovation for technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage and hydrogen, for instance.”

Emissions in Thailand have also been higher this year, with the energy sector having released 196.5 tonnes of CO2 in the first nine months of this year, marking a 0.98 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, the Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO) said.

However, EPPO said that even though the power-generation sector is the largest CO2 producer, it is the only sector that is releasing a lower amount of greenhouse gases due to an increase in renewable energy, though the emission trend in other sectors is rising.

Meanwhile, Raweewon Bhuridej, secretary-general of the Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning Office, said this increase in emissions will not affect Thailand’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Thailand has pledged to lower its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 25 per cent by 2030 from the estimated emission rate in a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario.

“Since Thailand is a developing country, we do not have to lower our emission rate as significantly as wealthy nations, who ought to cut down their net CO2 emission rate every year,” Raweewon said.

She added that Thailand has already performed well as per standards set for developing countries. In 2016, Thailand successfully cut its emissions by 45.72 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which is approximately 12 per cent below the estimated rate in a BAU scenario.

Raweewon pointed out that thanks to this positive reduction effort, Thailand has already achieved its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action, in which the country pledged to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 7 to 20 per cent within 2020.

“However, despite us having done great work in reducing emissions in Thailand’s energy sector, there is still room for improvement in order to transform the country into a low-carbon society,” she said.

“For instance, the government is investing in a mass transportation network so as to encourage people to use public transport instead of driving, in a move to lower emissions in the transportation and logistics sector.”

Thailand meets its emissions target as richer nations fail | News by The Thaiger

ORIGINAL STORY: The Nation



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Finance Minister foreshadows slowing economy in 2019

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Finance Minister foreshadows slowing economy in 2019 | The Thaiger

“We expect the GDP growth for 2019 to be at least 4 per cent. However, the economic growth for 2019 is expected to be slower than 2018,”

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong predicts Thailand will encounter slower economic growth in 2019,. The Minister cites uncertainty from the trade war between China and the US, the upcoming Thai election and a slump in tourism as the key factors.

The Nation reports that Apisak made the comments at an event organised by the engineering faculty of Chulalongkorn University.

“The peak of the current economic cycle was during the first two quarters of last year, followed by an acute slump in the third quarter. Given that consumption and private investment are still continuously growing, we expect the economy to continue to grow in 2019, but at a slower pace.”

The first two quarters of this year saw growth of 4.8 per cent year on year. The economy managed growth of only 3.3 per cent in the third quarter and a recovery is expected in the fourth quarter, but not at the pace seen for the first two quarters, Apisak said at the Chulalongkorn event, the Engineering Dinner Talk.

Growth in exports is also expected to slow in 2019. This is due to the lagging negative impact of the trade war between the US and China, with some of the consequences to be felt next year.

“Many have suggested that Thailand can gain from the trade war through replacing Chinese goods in the US market and manufacturers moving their production base from China to Thailand. However, in the long-term, the trade war will only hurt the Thai economy,” the minister said. This is because Thailand is deeply entrenched in the supply chain, which is affected by the tariffs imposed by the two economic giants, he said.

At the event, Apisak addressed the relationship between the upcoming election and growth in foreign direct investment in the Kingdom.

“After talking to many foreign investors, they have said that they are holding off investing in Thailand until after the election. This is because they fear that political stability will be damaged as a result of the election,” said Apisak.

The final key factor likely to contribute to slower economic growth in 2019 is the decline in tourism. Visitor numbers have slumped significantly since a boat accident near Phuket in the middle of this year.

In August, 867,000 Chinese tourists visited the Kingdom, down 11.7 per cent month on month. In September, only 648,000 came, marking an even steeper 14.89 per cent fall month on month, according to the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB).

Apisak said the boat accident – which claimed the lives of dozens of mostly Chinese tourists – had led many Chinese to question Thailand’s safety standards, but it was not the only cause of the fall in tourism numbers.

“Tourism has also fallen as a result of external factors which we cannot control,” he said.

“The slowing global economy has led key tourist groups visiting Thailand to decrease.

“The slowing of the Chinese economy as a result of the trade war and the weakening of the yuan currency have led to falls in the number of Chinese tourists globally.”

With the declines in exports and tourism, Apisak said investment in the Industry 4.0 policies championed by the government, with the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as a major component, will be the key driver of growth in 2019.

“The EEC is expected to be a key focal point of investment in 2019,” Apisak said. “With strong private investment levels in 2018, we expect this trend to continue into next year. Public investment in infrastructure and transportation throughout the country will intensify in 2019.

“Meanwhile, foreign direct investment into the EEC is also expected to rise after the election in February next year.”

Finance Minister foreshadows slowing economy in 2019 | News by The Thaiger

Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong speaking at Chulalongkorn University

ORIGINAL STORY: The Nation

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New WHO world road death report – Thailand drops to number 8 but still high

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New WHO world road death report – Thailand drops to number 8 but still high | The Thaiger

Thailand’s roads remain some of the deadliest in the world. But the Kingdom has dropped from its previous number two position to number eight, behind a collection of backwater African states and other undeveloped countries.

A new report by the World Health Organisation shows that the road safety situation in Thailand hasn’t improved. The shocking news is outlined in a the WHO report, Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018,

The report indicates the death rate per 100,000 population in Thailand was 32.7. This ranks Thai roads as at least the deadliest in ASEAN and amongst the deadliest in the world.

Only seven other nations fared worse than Thailand, while the countries with the highest road traffic death rate per 100,000 population were Liberia, Saint Lucia, Burundi and Chad.

The report, compiled using data from 2016 from 175 countries, shows that Europe has the safest roads with 9.3 deaths per 100,000 population. The African continent had the worst rates.

The report shows that there is an average of 22,491 people killed on Thai roads every year. South east Asia, where motorcycle-related deaths account for 43 percent of the total road toll, had an average of 20.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

Globally, the report found that the situation regarding road traffic deaths is worsening, with someone killed in a road accident every 24 seconds somewhere in the world.

The WHO road death Hall of Shame…

1. Liberia – 35.9 (per 100,000 people)

2. Saint Lucia – 35.4

Equal 3. Burundi and Zimbabwe – 34.7

Equal 4. Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) – 33.7

5. Central African Republic – 33.6

6. Thailand – 32.7

7. Burkina Faso – 30.5

8. Namibia – 30.4

9. Cameroon – 30.1

10. Mozambique – 30.1

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