Seventy-seven Thai companies join UN climate action group

Thailand’s business community is serious about tackling climate change, with 77 of the Kingdom’s companies meeting virtually last week to discuss their next steps to save the planet as members of the United Nations Global Compact.

The Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles, undertake socially responsible policies, and measure and report on their implementation. This includes actions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes fighting climate change.

The meeting of the 77 Thai members of the Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) took place about a week before the COP26 meeting of the Paris Climate Accords.

The CEOs, UN officials and foreign ambassadors discussed milestones in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. They signed on to an initiative named “New Era of Action” for Thailand’s climate leadership, and voiced support for measures to limit global warming in line with the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement.

Supachai Chearavanont, Chairperson of the Thai network and Chief Executive Officer of agro-industrial conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, said that climate change is a more serious threat to humanity than the COVID-19 crisis. “The coronavirus may eventually disappear, but climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying,” he said.

“GCNT calls on the private sector to commit to climate action through greater disclosure and corporate transparency. What we require now is a new generation of sustainability leaders, more market-based mechanisms to reduce emissions, and innovation driven by technology and new thinking,” Supachai added.

In her opening remarks, Gita Sabharwal, UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand reaffirmed “The time is now to take action in a journey in which we can both learn and inspire each other. This is an opportunity to shape the recovery and demonstrate to the region and beyond the role the private sector can play to move towards carbon neutrality in Thailand.”

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