Decarbonizing Thailand: A Socio-economic Impact Study of Peak Emissions Before 2050

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Tanawat Boonpanya
Toshihiko Masui

Abstract

Paris Agreement has confirmed that all countries will hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue the efforts to limit the temperature increase to well below 1.5 degree Celsius. Because there is a strong link between GHG emissions and economic development. That is to say, the increase of consumption will increase the standards of living too. Therefore, it is necessary for the researchers and policy makers to assess the socio-economic status that can maintain the GDP growth while reducing GHG emissions to mitigate climate change and safeguard the world. Thailand as a member of UNFCCC has pledged the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) stated that by 2030 GHG emissions in the country will be reduced by 20% compared to the business-as-usual (BAU) level. From the current stage, even if Thailand achieve its pledge in the Paris Agreement, the country is still far from the 2 degree Celsius target. Therefore, more ambitious measures are required and Thailand should pursue the peak GHG emissions at the earliest as a first step to make the country backing on track to achieve 2 degree target. By recognizing the important role of market-based mechanisms, this study uses computable general equilibrium model to assess the socio-economic impact of limiting GHG emissions in the target year 2020, 2030, and 2040 respectively compared to BaU. The result informed that achieving 2 degree Celsius target will cause Thailand cumulative GDP loss during 2010-2050 by 2.7% in Peak2020, 1.9% in Peak2030 and 0.9% in Peak 2050 respectively in 2050 compared to BaU. Peak emissions early will have more negative impact to Thai economy; however, carbon price as an economic external cost is increased to the highest level (9,072 THB / t CO2.eq) in Peak2040 scenario to keep Thailand backing on track. This can imply that the later peak emissions are observed, the higher cost is required to curve the emissions trajectory to meet emissions target in 2050.

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References

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