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Bangkok Govenor Sets Target for Reducing Carbon Emissions
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For the first time ever a Thai polititian has set a target for reducing carbon emissions. The govenor of Bangkok, Apirak Kosayodhin, announced an ambitious target of a 15% reduction in emissions in the capital within 5 years as a response to the United Nations World Environment Day.

With the announcement comes a draft action plan for Bangkok. With 24% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from Bangkok and the threat of flooding as a result of rising sea levels, Govemor Apirak said that bangkok must take the lead. The action plan consists of both soft and hard measures to reduce carbon emissions such as tree planting, car pooling, renewable energy and mass transport systems as well as the posibility of driving restrictions in congested areas.

The action plan has now been released in order to receive feedback for modification and implementation will take place in August.

Similarly to elsewhere in the world, leading scientists have blamed the government for not investing enough money into research into the effects of global warming and they point out that rising sea levels could have dire consequences on rice production which in turn would have serious implications on both food security and export revenue.

Although it is only just a start, it would seem that Govenor Apirak should be congratulated for raising the profile of this issue in Thailand.

This news is even more pertinent on the day of the G8 summit where the US has declared it will not sign up to the German proposal of leading industrial nations cutting CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050. Instead the US has suggested that the worst CO2 emitting nations, including China and India, work together to formulate a long-term solution to the problem.

Nick Upton, 6th June 2007
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