Pinning hopes on COP26

The Future Listers share their hopes for the outcome of COP26

Headlining the world’s media at the moment is COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference which is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November 2021. This is undeniably the global community’s last chance to come together and rectify climate change issues before it’s too late. The tasks at hand include achieving global net zero emissions by 2050 as well as the 1.5 degree target stipulated by the Paris Agreement in 2015 through such policies as phasing out coal, curtailing deforestation, switching to electric vehicles and investing in renewables, as well as protecting communities and natural habitats. All this will require commitment from governments, big industry, the corporate world as well as the individual.

The Future Listers are passionate about the environment. Here, we talk to some of them on what they hope to see from COP26.

Parit Wacharasindhu

Politician, social entrepreneur, TV host and founder of the StartDee education app

What do you most hope to see from COP26?

We want to see a sincere commitment by all countries involved to treat this climate crisis as a global problem. This means not only getting broad consensus and cross-country pledges on critical world-wide initiatives (e.g., ending deforestation by 2030), but also creating mechanisms to pressure more developed countries to provide the financial and technological support needed by developing countries to realise their national climate-related goals. We will not be able to solve the climate crisis if only a few countries meet their respective targets, but we will only be able to solve it if all countries collaborate to help each other achieve all their targets.

What do you wish will be the outcome for Thailand as a result of COP26?

We wish to see Thailand build on the momentum from COP26 to make stronger commitments and take on a more active leadership role in tackling climate change on 3 fronts.

1. A leadership role in mobilising all ASEAN countries to make stronger contributions to the climate crisis and in holding other countries accountable to their respective national targets.

2. A leadership role in taking on any corporate interests that may attempt to stand in the way of critical policy or regulatory changes that are needed to reduce carbon emissions (e.g., on renewable energy, on carbon credit or tax).

3. A leadership role in educating the public about the importance of the climate crisis and the regressive nature of its effects on lower-income households from more frequent and severe occurrences of floods, haze, and wildfire.

Nophol Techaphangam

Founder and CEO Nornnorn circular economy-based mattress subscription service

What do you most hope to see from COP26?

A concrete set of appropriate, globally coordinated policies, strategies and action plans that will be implemented immediately worldwide at all cost to avert the impending environmental catastrophe and preserve our civilisation as we know it.   

What do you wish will be the outcome for Thailand as a result of COP26?

All sectors of society from top to bottom immediately accelerating the mobilisation of their resources and comparative advantages to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

Supat Hasuwannakit MD

Director Jana Hospital, Songkhla, and activist for sustainable energy

What do you most hope to see from COP26?

Rather than empty words by world leaders, I hope to see the concrete commitment and action plans of each country to reduce the real carbon emission, not through carbon offsetting measures that calculate carbon dioxide equivalent but do not actually reduce real carbon emissions.

I also hope to see the unity of the world to protect the world’s forest areas. Forests are imperative in combating climate change.  I hope to see concrete action plans for less deforestation especially in the world's rainforest areas like the Amazon, Indonesia and Myanmar. While the reduction of carbon emission is so important, the fight against deforestation, dam construction, new agricultural areas, mining or any human activities are also the essential goals for COP26.

What do you wish will be the outcome for Thailand as a result of COP26?

Thailand was represented by the same leader at both COP21 in Paris through to COP26 in Glasgow, but nothing has changed significantly in Thailand. The northern smog crisis from the burning of farm residue and wild fires continue to destroy people’s health and nature every year. The coal power plants in the eastern economic corridor and in the southern province in Songkhla and Krabi are still pending. The low carbon emission industrial estate is just a propaganda policy.

So for Thailand’s next election, every party should have a concrete policy on climate change and carbon emission. I hope the next government will be more concerned about COP26's ultimate goal.