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10 Nov 2022

Econ Digest

Are Thai business operators ready for carbon tax?


       Climate change has led many countries across the world to focus on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and to take measures and create incentives to do so, one of which is taxation. For instance, a carbon tax is a tool to increase the cost of products that emit greenhouse gas emissions in order to get producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the production processes or shift to produce products with less greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon tax base used for taxation includes direct taxes on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the production process and indirect taxes on consumption. Carbon taxes are common abroad, especially in European countries where environmental issues are highly valued, while some countries in South America, Asia and Africa have also begun implementing them. 29 countries currently impose carbon taxes, but the rates vary from country to country, ranging between USD0.08-137 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2).

       For Thailand, the Excise Department first introduced a tax rate based on carbon dioxide emissions when it revised its vehicle tax structure in 2016, and in 2022 the Excise Department is studying guidelines for implementing a carbon tax in Thailand. KResearch projects that carbon taxation in Thailand could take the following form: a direct levy based on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the production process in the industries with high greenhouse gas emissions, such as those subject to the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and an indirect levy from the use of fossil fuels. The implementation should be done gradually so that business operators have time to adapt and adjust, including measuring the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (Carbon Footprint) on a regular basis, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the production process, and shifting to producing environmentally friendly products to match the behavior of the new generation of consumers, who care about the environment.

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