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March 28, 2024

Developments in Thailand’s Draft Climate Change Law

On February 14, 2024, Thailand’s Department of Climate Change and Energy (DCCE) began holding public hearings on the draft Climate Change Act, which is being developed to help the country achieve its commitments under the Paris Agreement. These hearings, held throughout the country, are expected to be completed by the end of March 2024.

Key features and developments of the draft Climate Change Act are outlined below.

Supervising Authority

Under the current draft, the main supervising authority is changed from the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning to the DCCE.

The DCCE will focus on fostering collaboration with national and international governmental committees, agencies, and private sector organizations to facilitate the implementation of activities in alignment with the Climate Change Act.

Thailand’s Climate Change Master Plan

To be issued by the National Climate Change Policy Committee (NCCPC), the Climate Change Master Plan will serve as a national-level plan and framework for Thailand’s actions on climate change adaptation. The DCCE will review the plan every five years and is in charge of monitoring and enhancing state agencies’ implementation of the master plan.

GHG Database

The DCCE will establish and maintain a national greenhouse gas (GHG) database to track the quantity of GHG emissions from human activities, sequestration, and reduction efforts. In this regard, eight state agencies and other agencies to be prescribed by the NCCPC are required to store GHG-related information and submit reports to the DCCE.

If necessary, certain private entities (e.g., factory operators and energy companies) may be required to report activity data to government agencies for compiling the GHG database.

GHG Reporting

For the benefit of the emissions trading system, legal entities under private and public laws prescribed by the NCCPC are required to submit an annual report of the quantity of emissions or sequestration of GHG resulting from their operations within three months from the end of each calendar year. The report must be certified by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization before being submitted to the DCCE. Reporting entities must keep their reports, records, and other relevant documents for at least seven years from the date of their submission.

Emissions Trading System

The draft Climate Change Act implements an emissions trading system (ETS), in regard to which the DCCE is responsible for developing and revising allocation plans and preparing reports summarizing plan implementation outcomes. The DCCE is also responsible for allocating allowances and emissions trading rights to prescribed controlled entities according to the specified criteria, duration, and methods, which must comply with the allocation plan.

Carbon Credits and Taxes

The draft Climate Change Act outlines carbon credit qualifications, licensing requirements for carbon credit businesses, carbon credit certification services, carbon credit trading centers, and other businesses related to carbon credits.

It also establishes a carbon tax system to levy taxes on goods based on the assessed amount of GHG at specific points in the product life cycle. This aims to encourage reduction of cross-border GHG leakage.

For more information on Thailand’s draft Climate Change Act, or on any aspect of energy, industrial, or other climate-related policies, please contact Kobkit Thienpreecha at [email protected], Witchupong Chittchang at [email protected], Rada Lamsam at [email protected], or Nathat Chongcharoenphanich at [email protected].

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