Leaders Advocate Stronger Climate Finance Action for Thailand's Low-Carbon Transition

Leaders in responsible investment are calling for increased action on climate finance to support Thailand's transition to a low-carbon economy.

Recognizing the significance of climate change as a global threat, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Thailand, in collaboration with the United Nations (UN), the PRI initiative, and the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), organized a webinar titled 'Responsible Investment in Practice: Undertaking Stewardship with a Focus on Climate Change' on July 17, 2023.

During the virtual event, global financial leaders discussed innovative practices to enhance the stewardship of financing for sustainable, long-term value. The focus was on complementing ongoing private sector-led projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reversing environmental damage. The webinar aimed to provide Thai market participants with fundamental knowledge and best practices for effective climate stewardship.

Mr. Thawatchai Pittayasophon, Deputy Secretary-General and Acting Secretary-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand, stressed the urgency of the climate crisis and urged stakeholders in the capital market, particularly asset owners and asset managers, to prioritize positive actions on climate change. He highlighted the importance of understanding the concept of 'climate stewardship' and engaging in dialogue with investee companies to drive change in the real economy.

Ms. Gita Sabharwal, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand, emphasized the significant influence of capital markets on the economy and their role in driving sustainable growth. She pointed out that green investments not only benefit the environment but also positively impact bottom lines in the medium to long term. The UN's involvement aims to bring the best available technologies and environmental practices combined with integrated policy advice to the equation.

Mr. James Robertson, Head of Asia (ex-China & Japan) for PRI, expressed satisfaction with the continued partnership between PRI, UN, and SEC Thailand, along with AIGCC as a co-organizer. The event focused on the crucial role of stewardship in mitigating the systemic risk posed by climate change, and he highlighted the value of knowledge sharing and capacity building on responsible investment themes.

Ms. Valerie Kwan, Director of Engagement at AIGCC, stressed the rapidly evolving nature of stewardship models and the changing role of investors. Urging for more urgent action to align with a 1.5°C future, she emphasized that climate risk is investment risk. The webinar aimed to provide insights on impactful approaches for the Thai market and foster discussions on various tools available in the investment ecosystem.

The collaborative efforts of SEC Thailand, UN, PRI, and AIGCC in promoting responsible investment and climate stewardship are crucial steps towards accelerating Thailand's progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and net-zero emissions by 2065. By mobilizing responsible capital markets, Thailand can pave the way for sustainable growth and a resilient, low-carbon future.