[As prepared for delivery]
Khun Suttipong Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior
Dr Wandee, President of Ladies Association, Ministry of Interior
Khun Thalearngsak, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Khun Ansit, Director General, Community Development Department, Ministry of Interior
Khun Kiatchai, Director, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization
Distinguished officials, and UNFCCC colleagues
It is an honor to join you this morning for the signing ceremony of the MOU to assess the carbon footprint for Thai silk fabrics.
The MOI-TGO partnership is critical as we kick-start this initiative to test the concept of measuring the carbon emissions of Thai silk fabric premised on a standardized international methodology set out by the UNFCCC.
I would like to commend the Ministry of Interior for its foresight in taking this important first step.
Assessing the carbon footprint of locally made fabric will be key to reducing emissions throughout their lifecycle, from sourcing raw materials to selling finished products.
Many countries in the European Union have already established the carbon footprint of textiles and Thailand will now be able to benchmark the footprint of its own silk fabrics.
This will result in a giant leap towards greening Thai silk production, which will gain them further recognition globally.
It will also support accelerating climate action as the global textile and garment sector accounts for anywhere between 6% to 8% of total global carbon emissions.
There will also be great social and economic benefits. The beneficiaries will include nearly two million women weavers working through 100,000 cooperative groups to produce fabrics and other products.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, a champion of community empowerment and sustainable practices, is spearheading this initiative to introduce natural dyes, new motifs and new designs while preserving Thailand’s famous cultural heritage and supporting the upskilling of handicraft workers.
By bringing on board top fashion designers to work alongside the women weavers the project is translating into market-friendly products.
As a result, this process will generate sustainable livelihoods for all these women and their families, boosting their economic wellbeing and inclusion in line with leaving no one behind.
I saw some of these transformative changes firsthand during my recent visits to the provinces of Chiang Rai, Phatthalung and Sakon Nakhon.
I was impressed by the green and sustainable practices being adopted as Thai fabric is woven into cutting-edge products that will soon hold their own against high-end goods.
Let me take this opportunity to also thank the Ministry for championing waste segregation nationwide.
The partnership with the TGO is similarly translating into economic gains.
Premised on an independent third-party assessment, scaling up waste segregation to over 12 million households will contribute to 530,000 tons in carbon reduction and carbon credits.
These credits will enable local governments to incentivize their communities to scale up waste segregation and composting even further.
I am hopeful we can continue to leverage UN’s partnership with the Ministry to deliver on scale.
Doing so will contribute to the Government’s long-term carbon reduction targets of achieving net zero by mid-century.
At the same time, it will generate economic value and social returns for millions of people for years to come.