The Thai-German Climate Programme (TGCP) is a boon for global climate mitigation but ‘much more’ needs to be done to protect vulnerable regions, said one of Germany’s leading environment experts.
“Mitigation alone cannot prevent climate change. Therefore, this Thai-German alliance must focus on providing education and financing for projects, promoting better renewable energy policies and other climate protection measurements,” Hans-Josef Fell, founder of Germany’s environmental watchdog Energy Watch Group told Impact4All.
Fell added: “We need plenty more of these alliances across the world that focus on both ambitious climate protection and climate mitigation.”
The latest phase of the TGCP-funded climate policy project was kicked off in all 77 provinces of Thailand earlier this month, as Thailand and Germany partner to develop policies around preventing climate change at the local and regional levels.
TGCP is a collaboration between Thailand’s Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) and Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Its most recent mission is to assist the remaining 60 provinces – which were not included in the project’s first phase – in drafting their own climate policies based on the local environment and circumstances.
Interviews with sources involved in the effort, as well as local people, found that the project’s road to success is a difficult one to navigate, as all stakeholders will have to overcome two major challenges.
One is the lack of constructive cooperation from other related official agencies, while the second is the reality that climate change is already impacting some areas.
Many parts of Thailand have already felt the impacts of climate change and some provinces are already experiencing increasingly severe natural disasters, unpredictable weather and environmental degradation.
Many parts of Thailand have already felt the impacts of climate change and some provinces are already experiencing increasingly severe natural disasters, unpredictable weather and environmental degradation
Fell commented: “The climate is rapidly changing. Therefore, climate mitigation is necessary. But mitigation without climate protection measurements, like the switch to 100 per cent renewables is not enough. Climate protection measurements are decisive; without climate protection, climate mitigation will come to nothing. “
GIZ Thailand country director Tim Mahler said the project supports the development and implementation of climate policy at the local level using four key approaches: institutional and individual capacity building, integration of local climate change policy, climate monitoring and evaluation, and support for financial mechanisms.
“The GIZ and ONEP are determined to move forward by scaling up our subnational implementation work to countrywide action, covering the remaining 60 provinces across the country by applying our pragmatic approach and lessons learnt from the previous phase,” Mahler said.
The main objective is to boost each locality’s ability to prepare, cope, and adapt to the impacts of climate change by developing climate policies that take into consideration the local conditions and environment.
The four-year project, which ends in 2021, is funded by the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
The Royal Thai Embassy in Germany did not respond to requests for comment.