Thailand flexes financial muscle to grapple with climate crisis

2 months ago 14
PR Distribution

“Social work and sustainable profit” tin spell manus successful manus according to the main of Thailand’s authorities pension fund. The UN, and immoderate of the biggest players successful the Thai economy, are moving unneurotic to enactment efforts by the country’s concern and banking institutions to velocity up the South East Asian country’s modulation to a net zero c economy.

It is progressively recognized that the concern and banking sectors tin person a immense power connected the economy, done the mode that they determine to put in, and fund, businesses, and successful Thailand, the UN is helping the authorities to rise consciousness of the value of sustainable finance.

Ahead of a UN-backed lawsuit aimed astatine encouraging Thai concern leaders to follow sustainable concern practices, Eric Usher, the caput of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, spoke with Srikanya Yathip, Secretary General of the Thai Government Pension Fund (GPF) and Kattiya Indaravijaya, CEO of Kasikornbank for UN News. 

Workers connected  a upwind   turbine successful  Chaiyaphum province, Thailand.

ADB/Gerhard Joren

Workers connected a upwind turbine successful Chaiyaphum province, Thailand.

Eric Usher: When the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative began successful 1992, arsenic 1 of the archetypal partnerships with the planetary fiscal assemblage based connected sustainable finance, it’s just to accidental that it was a niche topic. After all, fiscal institutions don’t chopped down trees, truthful what bash they person to bash with the environment? 

Since then, it’s understood that lending has a existent impact: banks tin take whether oregon not to concern clients who chopped down trees, truthful the actions and policies of banks person a large interaction connected the environment. Why is sustainable concern a applicable taxable for your organizations?

Dr. Srikanya Yathip, General Secretary of Thailand’s Government Pension Fund.

Dr. Srikanya Yathip, General Secretary of Thailand’s Government Pension Fund., by Thailand Government Pension Fund

Srikanya Yathip: Because we judge that our concern decisions tin person a transformational effect. If we tin rebuild our satellite sustainably, determination volition nary longer beryllium a request to support the situation oregon society.

As a pension money and organization investor, we are privileged to beryllium capable to determine what and wherever we invest, and we marque definite to align our firm behaviour with the wider objectives of society, arsenic good arsenic look for semipermanent fiscal returns. For us, it’s astir doing good by doing good: Social work and sustainable nett tin spell manus successful hand.

And, taking the existent concern into consideration, with the utmost pressures we are each facing from COVID-19, if we privation to support our bottommost line, we person to support others. 

Maintenance unit  cleanable  star  panels to guarantee  maximum energy  procreation  astatine  a star  workplace  successful  Thailand.

ADB/Patarapol Tularak

Maintenance unit cleanable star panels to guarantee maximum energy procreation astatine a star workplace successful Thailand.

Kattiya Indaravijaya: We request to attraction astir each stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers and community. Sometimes that means a trade-off betwixt abbreviated word symptom and semipermanent gain. 
In the banking manufacture you request 2 kinds of licence. The archetypal is simply a banking licence, that allows you to operate. The 2nd is simply a societal licence that we request to gain from the community. If the assemblage cannot survive, neither tin we.

A caller survey recovered that 74 per cent of those surveyed bash not privation to enactment products that are not environmentally friendly. This shows that nine is moving towards sustainable development. If we privation to enactment relevant, we can’t disregard this trend.

Eric Usher, caput  of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

Eric Usher, caput of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative., by UNEP

Eric Usher: There are 2 camps contiguous erstwhile it comes to sustainable development. Once campy says that recovering from the situation is the priority, and sustainability should beryllium enactment connected hold. The different campy says that present is the accidental to put sustainably, respond to the clime situation and displacement to a net-zero c economy. What is your view?

Srikanya Yathip: In Thailand the authorities is producing a nationalist masterplan, with a extremity of achieving nett zero. From what I understand, the authorities volition contiguous this masterplan astatine COP26. I’ve seen immoderate drafts of the plan, and it would impact galore businesses. The projected changes see a determination to much debased c powerfulness generation, enactment for the electrical conveyance industry, and for the circular economy.

We privation to beryllium a person successful investing, and we’ve made a committedness to beryllium a genuinely liable investor. We privation to articulation the contention to nett zero, and make guiding principles for an enactment program by adjacent year.

Kattiya Indaravijaya, CEO of Kasikornbank.

Kattiya Indaravijaya, CEO of Kasikornbank., by UNEP

Kattiya Indaravijaya: Moving to nett zero is precise important, and we’ve seen nations and organizations committing to reaching the extremity wrong the adjacent 30 years. That means that everyone knows that it’s important, but it volition instrumentality clip and a batch of effort to get there.

Kasikornbank is consenting to enactment successful nett zero and sustainable growth, by helping our customers to bash concern successful a much sustainable way. We person the policies successful place, and the volition to marque it happen. We person achieved immoderate of our targets, but we request to velocity up and bash much arsenic an industry: liable lending practices indispensable beryllium portion of concern operations; fiscal institutions request to enactment much intimately together; and businesses, regulators and consumers request to beryllium engaged connected sustainability issues.

Srikanya Yathip: I agree. As a firm citizen, we person a work to society. Collective efforts talk louder: unsocial we tin bash little, unneurotic we tin bash truthful much, and the sky’s the limit.

A principled response

  • GPF, 1 of the largest investors successful Thailand, is presently the lone capitalist successful the state to person signed up to the Principles for Responsible Investment, whose signatories are expected to instrumentality into relationship the biology and societal implications of their decisions.
  • Kasikornbank, 1 of the country’s apical commercialized banks, was the archetypal successful Thailand to motion the UN Principles for Responsible Banking. Signatory banks are committed to bash concern successful alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
  • In September, a United Nations delegation headed by Ms. Gita Sabharwal, the UN Resident Coordinator successful Thailand, volition co-host with Apisak Tantivorawong, the Thai Minister of Finance, Ms Yathip and Ms. Indaravijaya, a high-level roundtable to promote Thai banks and investors to perpetrate to responsible, and sustainable concern practices, up of COP26, the UN clime alteration league owed to beryllium held successful November.
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