Bangkok E-Bus Programme Spearheads Climate Action with Historic ITMOs Issuance
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Key Impact Points:
- First ITMOs Issued Under Paris Agreement: Switzerland and Thailand have successfully completed the first-ever transfer of Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) under the Paris Agreement, representing a significant step in cooperative climate action.
- Bangkok E-Bus Programme: This initiative, spearheaded by Energy Absolute Public Company Limited, involves converting Bangkok’s private bus fleet to electric vehicles, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Financial Support and Feasibility: The KliK Foundation’s purchase of ITMOs from the Bangkok E-Bus Programme has made this transition financially viable, emphasizing the role of public-private partnerships in climate action.
- Article 6.2 Implementation Mechanism: The project meets the eligibility criteria set by Swiss and Thai environmental agencies, ensuring strict evaluation, verification, and authorization processes to avoid double counting of emission reductions.
Through the issuance of Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs), completed on 20 December 2023, Switzerland and Thailand are the first countries to successfully use the cooperative approach under the Paris Agreement to make significant progress in cooperative climate action. The Foundation for Climate Protection and Carbon Offset KliK purchased the first ITMOs from the Thai programme owner, Energy Absolute Public Company Limited. The financial commitment of the KliK Foundation makes the conversion of the private bus fleet in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles financially viable.
Mitigation activity of electric mobility
The Bangkok E-Bus Programme is the first authorised mitigation activity under the bilateral climate agreement between Switzerland and Thailand in accordance with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. The programme owner Energy Absolute Public Company Limited is working to achieve its goal to convert the fleet of private operators of e-buses in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. In parallel, it started laying the foundation for a city-wide charging infrastructure network. To secure the financing, the purchase agreement between Energy Absolute and the KliK Foundation on greenhouse gas emission reductions as Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) from this programme was signed on 24 June 2022. Following the initial approval of the annual monitoring and verification report by both governments, the ITMOs were issued. With the issuance of a Statement of Recognition of Transfer by Switzerland, the first ITMOs for NDC use are now a reality.
The implementation mechanism under Article 6.2
The Bangkok E-Bus Programme meets the eligibility criteria of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). The strict evaluation and verification procedures of both partner countries have been independently verified. This is a prerequisite for approval by Switzerland and the partner country, in addition to the requirements of the relevant article of the Paris Agreement.
Electrification of public buses had been a topic in the Thai government’s climate strategy but wasn’t implemented or promoted. With the Mitigation Activity Design Document and all required supporting documentation, Energy Absolute demonstrated to the Thai and Swiss authorities that additional financing from carbon revenues was needed to make the activity financially viable. Thailand’s confirmation of the additionality of the mitigation activity to its NDC, and its agreement to make corresponding adjustments to its national emissions register, formed the basis for the authorisation of the mitigation activity by both countries on 27 February 2023. The emission reductions achieved will not be claimed by Thailand, thus avoiding double counting. (The Validator’s Report (SGS) is publicly available).
The financial support of the KliK Foundation through the purchase of ITMOs makes the activity feasible, in particular by bridging the gap between the initial investment costs of e-buses and internal combustion engine buses. As a pilot programme to test the implementation measures, 120 buses were put into operation on the streets of Bangkok in early 2022 but were not part of the mitigation activity.
The ITMOs transfer
For the first time, the process of programme development, implementation and the first transfer of ITMOs for NDC use have been carried out. Now that all steps have been taken and are clear, the implementation of all future projects will be much easier. 1,916 ITMOs purchased by the KliK Foundation were transferred in accordance with the bilateral climate agreement and credited to the KliK Foundation’s account in the Swiss Emissions Trading Registry on 15 December 2023. The ITMOs will be used by the KliK Foundation to fulfil its compensation obligation under the Swiss CO₂ Act. Switzerland intends to use these internationally transferred mitigation outcomes towards its target under the Paris Agreement (NDC). To avoid double counting, Thailand has committed to adjust its greenhouse gas inventory by the amount of mitigation outcomes transferred to Switzerland.
“The implementation of the Bangkok E-Bus Programme and the first issuance of ITMOs for NDC use under the Paris Agreement is a beacon moment for climate action. It shows that the complex mechanism under the cooperative approach is leading to reductions in CO₂ emissions. Our successful programme implementation is contributing towards a decarbonised economy and may inspire other private sector actors in Thailand and worldwide to scale up their climate action.” – Chatrapon Sripratum, Vice President, Climate Change Strategy & Sustainability | Energy Absolute Public Company Limited
“The issuance of the ITMOs from the Bangkok E-Bus Programme is a very important milestone for us. It is a proof of concept and shows that the Article 6.2 mechanism can deliver results. This first issuance lays the groundwork for further engagement in greenhouse gas mitigation activities in Thailand and other countries that have signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with Switzerland.” – Michael Brennwald, Head International | KliK Foundation