German-Thai strategic dialogue on energy policy

Thailand ranks 31st in the world in terms of CO2 emissions. Measured against the country's per-capita income, this is a high ranking. At the same time, Thailand is already severely affected by climate change, not only suffering floods with increasing frequency but also longer and more frequent droughts. In the long term, rising sea levels threaten the capital of Bangkok. Thailand's relatively dynamic economic growth and political influence in South-East Asia puts it in a position to take a leading role in climate change mitigation. 

A delegation from the Thai Environment Ministry (MoNRE), Parliament, Senate and a number of universities came to Germany from 17 to 21 January to discuss sustainable energy policies with representatives of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and other experts. The visit was driven by the fact that Thailand is seeking to reconcile its future economic and social development with environmental and climate necessities. 

The strategic dialogue with BMU served to deepen the discussion of policy between the ministries. In this context, a meeting between parliamentary state secretary Ursula Heinen-Esser, Thai deputy state secretary Suphot Tovichakchaikul from MoNRE and the Thai ambassador, Dr Charivat Santaputra, also took place.

During a workshop at BMU, the delegation explored Germany's policy approach and experience. The key areas they focused on were Germany's national energy concept and climate change targets. The delegates discussed, for example, the potential and costs of renewable energy and the requirements the electricity grids would have to meet to integrate it, and appropriate energy policy instruments. The programme included visits to factories manufacturing wind turbines and efficient gas turbines and discussions with technical agencies at state government level in Brandenburg.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organised the trip and accompanied the Thai delegation. It took place within a policy advice project aimed at developing and implementing Thailand's climate strategy, which has been funded by the International Climate Initiative (ICI) since 2009. The ICI is supporting a number of projects in Thailand.