Germany and Thailand are intensifying their cooperation

Workshop participant asking a question

Thai-German Dialogue. Picture: BMU

The conference "Thai-German Dialogue on the Green and Low Carbon Economy" which took place in Bangkok on 11 and 12 September 2013 deepened the cooperation between the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and other Ministries of the Thai government.

150 participants from government institutions, the private sector and academia from both countries as well as from international organisations took part in the event. The lively exchange covered the topics green economy, renewable energies and energy efficiency, climate action, adaptation to climate change and funding of climate action, water and flood management, life cycle management and fiscal instruments of environmental policies.

These focus areas also reflect the project portfolio of BMU's International Climate Initiative (IKI). Since 2008 IKI has supported the Thai climate change efforts in nine bilateral projects with a total funding volume of approximately 20 million euros as well as 15 regional or global projects in which Thailand takes part with a funding volume of approximately 59 million euros. Currently, new bilateral and global projects with a funding of additional 20 million euros are planned. At the end of the conference the Federal Environment Ministry and the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment agreed to repeat this successful format on a regular basis. In the intermediate time between the events a policy steering group will discuss issues of interest to both countries on an annual basis and decide on priorities of their bilateral cooperation.

Focal areas of cooperation

Discussions between the delegation from the Federal Environment Ministry and the representatives of the Thai Energy Ministry, the Thai Energy Regulation Authority as well as the Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation, a Government Body for Greenhouse Gas Reductions, centred around the international climate negotiations, the transformation of the German energy system and the expansion of renewable energies and ambitions in the energy efficiency field in Thailand.

The extensive dialogue was followed by two expert workshops to explore the topics in greater depth. One of the workshops was dedicated to the discussion of cooperation projects which receive support from the Federal Environment Ministry's IKI. With representatives of Thai line ministries trusted with mitigation and adaptation, the implementing agencies of IKI projects in Thailand, and the BMU delegation present, the workshop addressed the priorities of the Thai climate change policy and asked the question of how the International Climate Initiative can best support the implementation of the Thai climate change policy.

In a second workshop, representatives from the Thai Energy Ministry and its subordinate bodies met with the BMU delegation and German energy experts to discuss the challenges of a transformation of the energy systems towards safe, affordable and environmentally friendly energy supply systems in Germany and Thailand as well as identify topics for future cooperation in this field.