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In brief

What is Thailandʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Economy wide

A 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway would require domestic GHG emissions to peak immediately and achieve a 42-55% reduction below 2015 levels, in other words, to reach emissions levels of 206-262 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030, excluding LULUCF.

Thailandʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
−100%−50%0%50%19902010203020502070
Reference year
2015
1.5°C emissions level
−49%
NDC (conditional)
+22%
NDC (unconditional)
+30%
Ambition gap
−71%
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions

2030 NDC

In October 2020, Thailand resubmitted its previous NDC to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% below business-as-usual levels by 2030, which didn’t not represent an increase in ambition. With international support, this target is increased from 20% to 25%.1 Overall, the NDC is equivalent to 416 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030, conditional on international support.2

Fair share

Under the Paris Agreement, international support, including finance, technology transfer and capacity building will be needed for Thailand to close the emissions gap between its fair share and its domestic emissions pathway.

Net zero

Thailand does not have a net zero emissions target, but outlines its ambition to move towards “net zero as early as possible within the second half of this century, and carbon neutrality by 2065,” as outlined in the Long-term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS).3

2050 Ambition

A 1.5°C compatible pathway would require Thailand to reduce its GHG emissions by 81-86% below 2015 levels by 2050, excluding LULUCF, or 66-85 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050.27 On the road to net zero, the country will need to balance its remaining GHG emissions through the use of carbon dioxide removal approaches such as land sinks.

Net zero GHG

Thailand could reach net zero GHGs, including LULUCF, by 2050 if it reduces emissions of all sectors and retains its LULUCF carbon sink as current levels.28 Decarbonising the energy sector will be key to driving down emissions – in 2017 the energy sector accounted for 75% of GHG emissions (mainly CO₂) excluding LULUCF.

Decarbonisation

Policy measures for energy sector decarbonisation includes displacing fossil fuels with renewable energy in power generation and sector coupling through the electrification of transport and industry.

Sectors

Power

A 1.5°C pathway requires Thailand to accelerate renewable energy deployment from 14% of the power mix in 2017 to 48-62% in 2030, and near 100% in 2040.

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Power

Thailand is currently reliant on natural gas (66% of its power mix), which would need to be phased out by 2040 to be Paris Agreement compatible. Displacing gas and coal with renewable energy could improve Thailand’s energy security and reduce fuel cost uncertainty.

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Power

Thailand has a power emissions intensity of 350 gCO₂/kWh, which would need to be reduced to zero by 2032, in order to be 1.5°C compatible.

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Footnotes