Thailand and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition begin a major new initiative to reduce air pollution, improve human health and mitigate climate change

by CCAC secretariat - 2 February, 2021
The collaboration will identify win-win strategies that simultaneously benefit climate protection and air quality

The Center for Air Pollution Mitigation (CAPM) of the Pollution Control Department (PCD), Thailand and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) announced a new collaboration to identify solutions to reduce ‘short-lived climate pollutants’ (also known as SLCPs). These solutions can help achieve Thailand’s climate change goals, while at the same time improving air quality across Thailand and protecting the health of Thais.

Climate change and air pollution are closely linked. Many greenhouse gases and air pollutants have the same sources: for example, transport, energy production, agriculture, and waste. Short-lived climate pollutants are powerful climate forcers and dangerous air pollutants that include methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and black carbon, a component of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution. Developing strategies to reduce these pollutants provides a substantial opportunity to simultaneously improve local air quality and human health, while contributing to global efforts to reduce the threat of climate change.

The new collaboration is part of the CCAC’s Supporting National Planning and Action to reduce SLCPs (SNAP) Initiative. The PCD will work with international researchers from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) to assess air pollutant, greenhouse gas and SLCP emissions across Thailand. This assessment will quantify the type and amount of pollutants emitted by different sources – for example, transport, agricultural burning, electricity generation, and industry – and calculate the impact these emissions have on health and climate change. Solutions to reduce emissions will also be evaluated to find priority actions that provide the largest benefits for air quality and climate change. 

The second component of the work will look at how to implement these priority actions in Thailand. It will assess what institutional reforms are needed, and where coordination between national and local government can be improved for these solutions to be effective.

Mr. Athapol Charoenshunsa, Director General of Pollution Control Department, welcomed the new project saying: “We hope this initiative generates new data on short-lived climate pollutants and identifies where Thailand can accelerate air pollution reduction from all sources at the city and national level.  The PCD will work closely with the CCAC to implement this important project.”

Helena Molin Valdés, Head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, said the CCAC is delighted to work with Thailand’s Pollution Control Department to identify and effectively implement national solutions to improve air quality and mitigate climate change.

“Thailand joins a growing SNAP initiative community of over 25 countries working to improve national planning and increase action to reduce SLCPs. The benefits to health, sustainable development and the global climate crisis are well worth the effort,” Ms. Molin Valdés said. “We are also confident that welcoming Thailand into this group will benefit all partner countries as they learn from Thailand’s efforts to tackle air pollution and climate change issues – the challenge remains to build the capacity to address both.”

Thailand joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition as a country partner in 2019. From 2019 to 2020, the Coalition supported a Thai Pollution Control Department project to estimate emissions from water transport in Bangkok and made recommendations to reduce them.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is the only global partnership working to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. It is a voluntary partnership with 71 Country Partners and 78 non-State Partners committed to taking integrated action on climate and air pollution. The CCAC’s Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme.