11 November 2020
Mongolia and Thailand Update NDCs, Pledge to Up Targets with Technological and Financial Support
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

Mongolia has updated its NDC with a higher mitigation target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 22.7% by 2030.

Thailand’s NDC highlights the country’s plans to formulate a long-term low-emission development strategy to be used as a basis for enhancing subsequent NDCs.

Both Mongolia’s and Thailand’s NDCs contain adaptation components linked to other multilateral environmental agreements.

Thailand’s NDC emphasizes the role of international market-based cooperation in mitigating GHG emissions and promoting sustainable development, a revision from an earlier view of such mechanisms as enhancing cost effectiveness of mitigation actions.

Mongolia and Thailand have submitted their updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC. Mongolia sets a new target of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 22.7% by 2030, compared to the business as usual (BAU) scenario. Thailand’s NDC states that its target of reducing GHG emissions by 20% from the projected BAU level by 2030 could be increased to 25% with support.

Mongolia’s new mitigation target, which excludes land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), is an improvement on a 14% goal from its earlier intended NDC. It is based on new baseline emissions that Mongolia re-calculated, which are estimated to reach 74.3 MtСО2eq, compared to its 2015 intended NDC baseline of 51.3 MtСО2eq. If conditional mitigation measures such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and waste-to-energy technologies are implemented, Mongolia expects to achieve an even higher target of 27.2% reduction in total national GHG emissions. Mongolia’s share of global GHG emissions is 0.14%.

The updated NDC includes additional sectors that were not previously considered, such as agriculture, waste, and several industrial sectors. In the energy sector, Mongolia intends to increase the use of renewable energy sources and improve efficiency of energy production. The NDC notes Mongolia’s plan to switch from truck to rail transport of its coal export. Observers have noted these developments as part of Mongolia’s attempt to ramp up its coal exports by connecting with China’s railway network and deliver Mongolian coal to Chinese steel mills.

Adaptation targets included in Mongolia’s NDC include:

  • implementing sustainable forest management (SFM) and sustainable use of water and pastureland;
  • enhancing the disaster prevention system against drought;
  • enabling adaptation opportunities for vulnerable biodiversity; and
  • building resilience to natural disasters by reducing the risks and adapting to impacts of climate and weather-related hazards and disasters.

The NDC builds on existing national development policies such as the Vision-2050. NDC targets are integrated into national strategy and policy documents, as well as relevant legal instruments which define stakeholders’ responsibilities and the monitoring structure for implementation of the NDC. Financial needs for NDC implementation are estimated at around USD 11.5 billion, of which USD 6.3 billion will be needed for mitigation action, and USD 5.2 billion for adaptation.

Thailand’s latest NDC reiterates the country’s intention to reduce its GHG emissions by 20% from the projected BAU level by 2030. The NDC notes that the target could be increased to 25% with adequate and enhanced access to technology development and transfer, financial resources, and capacity building support. The NDC restates several challenges and barriers, including for the energy sector, and submits that international financial support mechanisms could accelerate progress, such as through technical assistance and technology transfer funds for purchasing intellectual property rights (IPRs) for a free distribution of clean and renewable energy technologies. Thailand’s share of global GHG emissions is 0.85%. 

On implementation, Thailand informs that under its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) plan pre-2020, the country set the target to reduce GHG emissions by 7-20% below BAU, and achieved a 14.09% GHG emissions reduction in 2017.

The NDC updates on how Thailand’s targets have been integrated into the National Strategy, including through:

  • The NDC Roadmap on Mitigation 2021-2030, which identifies key measures and allocates emission reduction targets and responsibilities to relevant agencies in energy, transport, industry, and waste management sectors;
  • The NDC Sectoral Action Plans, which further identify emission reduction targets in each measure; and
  • The NDC Supportive Action Plan, which highlights gaps and needs to enhance enabling environments to support implementation.

Thailand’s updated NDC highlights the need for international cooperation. It explains that the role of international market-based cooperation lies primarily in contributing to the mitigation of GHG emissions and promoting sustainable development. This represents a revision from its previous emphasis on the role of market-based mechanisms to enhance the cost effectiveness of mitigation actions.

The adaptation component of the NDC informs that Thailand’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) has taken into account the linkages between climate change adaptation under the UNFCCC and other conventions and agreements, including the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the SDGs, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030, and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

The NDC further notes that Thailand is formulating its long-term low-emission development strategy (LEDS), which will serve as a basis for enhancing its subsequent NDCs.

Mongolia and Thailand join ChileCubaJamaicaJapanMoldovaNew ZealandNorwayRwandaSingapore, and Viet Nam – countries that have submitted an updated or updated their first NDC in 2020. Also in 2020, Andorra submitted its second NDC, and Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan submitted their first NDCs. Together, these NDCs represent less than 5% of global GHG emissions. [Mongolia’s Updated NDC] [Thailand’s Updated NDC] [UNFCCC NDC Registry]

By Beate Antonich, Thematic Expert for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

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