Harnessing Green-Tech Solutions: A Strategic Approach to Achieving Carbon Neutrality in Thailand

Friday 14 June 2024 14:27
Thailand, a key player in Southeast Asia, has been grappling with its own carbon emissions challenges. In 2021, the country's CO2 emissions were approximately 279 million metric tons, a significant portion of which was attributed to energy production and usage. Over the past decade, Thailand has seen a steady rise in carbon intensity, with an annual increase of about 1.2%.
Harnessing Green-Tech Solutions: A Strategic Approach to Achieving Carbon Neutrality in Thailand

This increase in carbon emissions has had profound environmental implications for Thailand. The country is experiencing heightened vulnerability to climate change impacts, including more frequent heatwaves and a rising sea level, which pose threats to its coastal cities.

Deforestation is another critical issue in Thailand, with the country losing about 525,000 rai of natural forest in 2023. This not only leads to the loss of biodiversity but also contributes to the release of stored carbon into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change.

The economic repercussions of these environmental changes are significant. Climate change could potentially reduce Thailand's GDP by 9% by the end of the century. Key sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and fisheries are particularly vulnerable, and there are also implications for public health and workforce productivity.

But it's not just Thailand; addressing climate change presents significant opportunities for Southeast Asia. Based on a study developed by BCG and Fairatmos titled "Climate Technology in Southeast Asia: Key to Unlocking the World's Carbon Sink" highlights that nature-based solutions (NbS) could supply approximately 30% of the global carbon offset by 2030, despite Southeast Asia covering less than 1% of the world's total landmass. Critical sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and fishing can thrive by focusing on sustainable practices while enhancing human health and labor productivity.

To be able to successfully harness Nature based Solutions, there is a need for collaboration between multiple stakeholders, especially in terms of technological advancement, private-public collaborations, and green investment. While technology has played a crucial role in NbS implementation by utilizing advancements like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, big data, remote sensing, and quantum computing, the sector still needs more green investment and political will to overcome the barriers to NbS uptake.

Green Investment as Key to Develop Nature-based Solution

In Indonesia, the impact of collaboration and investment to develop NbS is already underway in the form of support for Fairatmos. This Indonesian-based organization works on high-quality carbon offset projects across Southeast Asia. 

Fairatmos Founder and CEO Natalia Rialucky said, "Indonesia hosts 15% of the world's potential Nature-Based Carbon sinks. Fairatmos seeks to simplify the process, enabling anyone, regardless of size, to initiate nature-based projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions without excessive costs. Therefore, overcoming hurdles like limited technical expertise, lengthy certification process, and high capital investment is vital to ensure everyone can take a part in restoring the atmosphere."

As a climate technology company, Fairatmos's has received support for its product, Atmoswatch, from ANGIN, an early-stage investment platform and development advisory consulting company based in Indonesia, through its PMF (Product Market Fit) Program powered by Official Development Assistance (ODA). This initiative aims to refine startups' products to better meet market needs by providing funding, tailored mentorship, and networking opportunities.

Ursula Toding, ANGIN Business Development Senior Associate, said, "We were impressed by Fairatmos' alignment with government priorities, especially in carbon offset initiatives, amid Indonesia's focus on carbon regulation. Startups like Fairatmos are crucial in leveraging business to address environmental challenges, aligning impact with commercial viability. Through impactful businesses like Fairatmos, we can become more strategic in our approach, achieving both meaningful impact and sustainable growth."

On the other side of the collaboration, Fairatmos invested by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India (VVSEAI), regional venture capital firms. The Singapore-based venture capital is driven by their understanding of the critical importance of mitigation and adaptation strategies in our collective fight against climate change.

VVSEAI's Partner Puiyan Leung said, "Innovators like Fairatmos play a vital role in supporting these efforts. We hope there will be similar projects across Southeast Asia so we can mitigate the impact of the climate crisis in a creative and innovative way. Not only to reduce emissions but also to provide economic and social benefits to local communities and support their efforts in adapting to climate change, just like Fairatmos."

To replicate this model in Thailand, identifying green-tech startups with a fervent dedication to sustainability is essential. Venture capital firms, such as VVSEAI, can provide support through funding, mentorship, and networking, while the Thai government and stakeholders foster conducive environments for sustainable investments.

The collaboration between Fairatmos and key ecosystem players serves as a successful blueprint for green-tech startups, investment platforms, and venture capital firms. This partnership showcases how these entities can synergize to mitigate carbon footprints and accelerate Southeast Asia's transition to a low-carbon economy, significantly advancing sustainability endeavors. Characterized by efficacy, this collaborative model offers a replicable framework for Thailand, demonstrating the potential for effective climate change combat through strategic alliances with firms.


Source: PRecious Communications

Harnessing Green-Tech Solutions: A Strategic Approach to Achieving Carbon Neutrality in Thailand