On 30 August – 1 September 2023, UNU-IAS conducted the workshop Net-Zero Thailand: ACE Youth Ideathon Camp in Bangkok, Thailand. Engaging 40 Thai youths from across the country, it explored pathways to decarbonisation, emphasising a whole-of-society approach. The workshop aimed to empower youth participants to take an active role in climate action in their communities, and ultimately contribute to accelerating the net-zero transition in Thailand. It was co-organised by UNU-IAS, the Thailand ACE Focal Point, and the Government of Thailand Department of Climate Change and Environment (CCE), and supported by the Korea Environment Corporation (K-eco).
Participants attended lectures on topics including community-led decarbonisation efforts, climate change displacement and human rights, and the design thinking process. A panel session discussed how best to mobilise human, financial, and other resources when crowdsourcing or applying for funding opportunities to materialise ideas.
Prior to the in-person sessions, participants completed online learning modules on the concept of net zero, including the environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change, and the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy sources.
The workshop culminated in the development of innovative solutions to realise a net-zero Thailand, focused on incentivising reduced carbon footprints and mechanisms for cooperation between local communities, the private sector, and government institutions. Solutions tackled challenges such as food waste and unsustainable tourism, utilising technology such as mobile apps to connect relevant stakeholders. Projects were assessed according to their feasibility, social impact, creativity and innovation, and sustainability. The awarded projects included a plastic waste app platform focused on upcycling, and a fuel consumption app that rewards users for reducing their carbon footprint.
Two selected youth participants will participate in the UNESCO ESD-Net Global Meeting to be held in Tokyo, Japan in December 2023. They will speak about the application of the whole-of-society approach to their net zero project/idea.
The workshop was conducted as part of the K-eco Global Net-Zero Partnership (K-GNP) project, which builds national capacity for effective implementation and governance of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The project is funded by the Government of the Republic of Korea and implemented by K-eco.