Thailand submitted an updated NDC in November 2022. It includes an unconditional target of reducing GHG emissions by 30% below business-as-usual (BAU) levels by 2030. If the country receives adequate international support for mitigation, the government will increase the target to 40%. The target excludes the country’s LULUCF sink.
Thailand’s NDC is equivalent to 389 MtCO₂e/yr (unconditional), and 333 MtCO₂e/yr (conditional), equating to 14% above and 2% below 2015 emission levels when excluding LULUCF.1 A 1.5°C compatible pathway would require domestic GHG emissions to peak immediately and reach 155–215 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030, or a 37–55% reduction below 2015 levels, excluding LULUCF.
In 2015, Thailand published the Climate Policy Master Plan as a national framework for climate change adaptation and low carbon growth, developing mechanisms and tools to address climate change and provide government agencies with a framework for action plans and budgets. Thailand is in the process of updating the plan in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
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.
Long term pathway
In 2021, Thailand committed to reaching “carbon neutrality” by 2065 in its Long-term Low Emission Development Strategy (LTS – LEDS) submitted to the UNFCCC. In 2022, Thailand submitted a revision of its LTS, brought forward the carbon neutrality year to 2050 and committed to achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2065.
A 1.5°C compatible pathway would require Thailand to reduce its GHG emissions by 78–83% by 2050 below 2015 levels when excluding LULUCF, or 58–75 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050. On the road to net zero, the country will need to balance its remaining GHG emissions through the use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches such as land sinks.
All scenarios foresee some emissions to remain in all sectors by 2050, with the exception of one where the industrial process and energy sectors have negative emissions in the 2050s due to CDR technologies (BECCS – bioenergy with carbon capture and storage).
Decarbonising the energy sector will be key to reducing emissions, as it accounts for more than 70% of the country’s total GHG emissions (mainly CO₂).