Key Message to Policymakers
• Thailand successfully developed its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA).
• Integrated assessment modelling helps in climate policy development.
• Consensus building is necessary among stakeholders' concerns.
Lessons learnt from Thailand can be a 'good practice' of climate policy design.
Within the climate change framework, there is a gap between modelling analyses and policy development, and whether national climate policy incorporates such modelling analyses depends on several factors. This section introduces a good example of a means to fill in this gap. Through discussion with the climate change focal point and related agencies, Thailand succeeded in reflecting the modelling analysis in actual policy development. Thailand's scenario studies on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) and NAMA roadmap development have been highly successful. This approach can be adopted by other regions as a 'good practice' of climate policy design and modified as needed according to local conditions.
NAMA and CO2 Mitigation Strategy
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation are two key global issues, with a growing list of countries adding them to agendas within United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) discussions. Further, the Conference of Parties (COP) has decided on appropriate implementations and GHG mitigation targets for developing countries. The 'Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA)' concept was first introduced in the 'Bali Action Plan' in COP13 in 2008 and, for developing countries, involves submission of GHG mitigation targets at the request of COP. In other words, the targets are only GHG mitigation 'pledges' (Decision 1/CP.13 'Bali Action Plan', Decision 1/CP.16 'Cancun Agreements', Decision 2/CP.17 in Durban and Draft, Decision -/CP.18 'Doha Climate Gateway'). Moreover, developing countries are welcome to propose their actions and targets for GHG mitigation under the voluntary basis of the UNFCCC. As of October 2012, 54 countries had proposed mitigation pledges that included NAMA implementation. Thailand communicated its NAMA pledge to UNFCCC in COP20 in Lima (Dec. 2014).
In the convention-track decision, developing countries agree to take on NAMAs, supported by technology and finance, based on their goal as being 'aimed at achieving a deviation in emissions relative to 'business-as-usual' emissions in 2020'. Developed countries are urged to raise ambition levels of their targets 'to a level consistent with' the latest recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Developed countries have been requested to prepare 'low-carbon development strategies or plans', and so have developing countries.
The term 'NAMAs' refers to any national climate policy that leads to reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries. The mitigation pledges communicated to UNFCCC by signatory countries of NAMA agreements can be classified into four main groups: (1) NAMA concept, (2) NAMA plan, (3) NAMA implementation and (4) NAMA submitted to the UNFCCC's NAMA registry. Thailand's NAMAs are in line with national sustainable development plans and are aimed at achieving GHG emissions reduction relative to 'business as usual' emissions in 2020, resulting in GHG mitigation. NAMAs have impacts that can be measured, reported and verified (MRV) and comprise two types in Thailand: (1) domestically supported NAMAs and (2) internationally supported NAMAs. Both types require MRV processes to verify actual emission reductions and to provide transparency of the processes. In 2014, Thailand constructed a national strategy 'Roadmap to Thailand NAMAs 2020' with clear targets to set up benchmarks and orient emission reductions activities. In December 2014, the country announced its NAMA pledge with a GHG reduction target in the range of 7–20 % in COP20 in Lima. The pledge communicated to UNFCCC was approved by the cabinet, the national climate change committee and NAMA subcommittee and stakeholder consultations. As this pledge has no legal binding for the country, the final NAMA pledge process only needed approval at the cabinet level (see Fig. 6.1), and if it were legally binding, it would have required parliamentary approval, in accordance with the constitution. In such case, the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be involved. If the post-2020 mitigation pledge involves legal binding, the domestic processes leading up to communication to UNFCCC will require more time.
Fig. 6.1 National NAMA approval process of Thailand