The rapid increase in the world population as well as the excessive consumption and continuous adoption of nonrenewable energy, such as coal, oil or natural gas, has contributed to an ever-warming planet where the effects of this climate change being felt with increasing frequency and severity around the world.
Recognizing that the impacts of climate change are to be felt more strongly in Thailand than almost any other country, Thailand Environment Institute was the first organization to conduct research and follow this issue. TEI has been working on climate change since the establishment of this organization in 1993 and has focused on conducting policy research for the public sector. TEI worked with the government of Thailand after it ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: UNFCCC in 1994 to create a national inventory on the current and future sources and amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The study found that the largest source of emissions is the energy sector, followed by agricultural and forest sectors. TEI has also researched and drawn up the national climate change strategy and operational plan and worked to develop current and reliable predictions on the possible impacts of global climate change for the public sector. These projects have become the basis of Thailand Environment Institute’s operational improvement work. For example the government used the TEI study of the national climate change strategy in 2006 as a roadmap to implement policies to help the country to cope with climate change, including a natural resources management strategy, natural disaster risk protection, more opportunities for public participation, and the environmental education curriculum development.
Building on this strong foundation, TEI has expanded its work supporting efforts to adjust and cope with climate change, including both operational and research support in sectors that produce greenhouse gasses and/or are impacted by their increase, such as tourism, agriculture, and energy. As part of these efforts, TEI encourages private and public sector organizations to collaborate and cooperate with others in the public and business sectors, local administrative organizations, educational institutes, social communities, communities and international organizations. Some of TEI’s successful projects include the Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment and Development project at the regional level, a project to reduce global warming by updating agricultural operations, and support for climate adaptation and increased efficiency of water usage in growing rice through the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in the central region of Thailand.
TEI has also served as the in-country coordinator in Thailand for the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) – a network of ten cities across Asia that are exploring new ways for building climate resilience in Asian cities. In its role, TEI has led multi-sector collaborative efforts in two cities – Hat Yai and Chiang Rai – to understand how climate change and urbanization will shape the cities’ futures and to help implement interventions to reduce impacts. TEI is also supporting efforts to share the findings from the city-level work at national and regional levels so other cities can start to build their resilience as well.
In addition, Thailand Environment Institute also adopts several tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by organizations, such as the Carbon Management Tool, Carbon Footprint Tool, Carbon Offset System, and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). TEI’s Carbon Reduction Label system has helped consumers show their interest in purchasing low-carbon goods and spurred producers to manufacture more goods that would qualify for the label. TEI has also developed a Carbon Reduction Certification for Building to certify buildings and services, such as offices, hotels, hospitals, etc.
TEI will continue to work on these projects and to implement new projects with partners in multiple sectors in order to better help the country of Thailand and entities in the public and private sectors prepare for and shape a future that is less imperiled due to climate change and global warming.