At 2:00 PM, on January 11th, 2024, the Thai Parliament convened to discuss the urgent matter of the Clean Air bill presented by the Thai cabinet.
This came after Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin had signed the bill in Chiang Mai.
The seven versions of the Clean Air bill included proposals from the Thai government, opposition, and civil sectors, addressing concerns about air pollution, specifically the escalating PM 2.5 levels during the early and late parts of each year.
The focal point of the discussions involved establishing air pollution management mechanisms at both national and local levels to manage and prevent the release of pollutants, dust, smoke, and odors into the environment and atmosphere.
Seven draft versions were discussed altogether as they had a similar principle content, with notable proposals from different political parties, including measures to combat air pollution, reduce agricultural burning and vehicle exhaust emission, and enforce laws to ensure clean air.
Some parties recommended a similar measure to manage anti-air pollution efforts and tax incentives for reducing emissions. Furthermore, there were penalties including imprisonment and fines ranging from 5,000 to 2,000,000 baht from polluters, also applied outside the country, to pay for damages.
Although the parliament had not concluded with a final decision on which draft law they will go forward with and will meet again in the near future, the discussions underscored the Thai government’s commitment to addressing air pollution issues, particularly concerning PM 2.5 smoke problems.