October 12, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. – Khon Kaen University cooperated with the Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to hold the participatory forest growing activity, which aimed for carbon neutrality. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University and Dr. Jiraporn Sirikum, Deputy Governor – Power Business of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) the opening ceremony. Over 200 administrators, officers and staff of the two organizations then joined in planting 160 Kalaphruek trees along the fence on the east side of the University, by Mitraparp Road.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University explained that this project answers the University’ strategic and administration plan, for which KKU set the key pillar in ecological nurturing. The 7th Strategy under this plan is to build the University as a Great Place to Live, and the sub-strategy in continuously developing a Green Society. Khon Kaen University measures roughly 5,500 rais of land. Most of the places are grown with various species of trees. The University is attempting to manage the zoning so that the least impact will arise to the green area. Some buildings on campus are being developed into environmentally friendly buildings. For this, the University receives collaboration from EGAT and the Faculty of Agriculture, under the project that aims for carbon neutrality. The variety of trees and plants are derived from research and will form a learning resource for the students. At the same time, the young people will develop conscience in environmental caring and hence benefits will return to the society.
“Khon Kaen University has prepared Kalaphruek trees for this project. Kalaphruek is the University’s tree. The trees were planted by His Majesty King Rama IX and Her Majesty Queen Sitrikit, on the occasion of Their Majesties’ visit to the University for the University foundation on December 20, 1967, and granted the University Kalaphruek tree as the University’s emblem. The trees were planted on that occasion in long rows along both sides of the road to Si Than. When the flowers bloom, they make the campus very beautiful. The planting of the trees today will build conscience in environmental care and at the same time, the place will be a relaxation point of the community,” said the President.
Dr. Jiraporn Sirikum, Deputy Governor – Power Business of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) that EGAT has set up the policy and target for “EGAT Carbon Neutrality” within 2050, under the principle of balance of the cost of electricity generation, the environmental impact, and the security of power system of the country. The project is aimed at avoiding carbon dioxide release by adjusting the circulating power so that electricity can be generated continuously. This activity is the collaboration between the governmental sector and the private sector to lessen carbon release to the atmosphere, with expectation towards beautiful and sustainable surroundings.
Carbon Neutrality is zero release of carbon dioxide release, which can be achieved by the following two approaches:
- Adsorption of the discharged carbon dioxide by carbon offsets, such as by forest growing in order to increase the number of trees
- Reduction of carbon dioxide release from the source, such as stopping the use of fossil fuel by changing to 100% circulatory power system and expanding the energy efficiency in all sectors, not only the power plants. This includes transportation, residential sector, industrial factories, and people’s everyday life. This approach will be more efficient when compared to the first approach.
Carbon neutrality is important to our world, for it can protect against the impact from the climate changes and climate worsening. In order to limit the global surface temperature to not exceed over1.5 degrees Celcius, we have to reduce the release of carbon dioxide to the environment to zero by 2050 or before that.
Thanks for the information from the Office of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy
News / Photos: Jiraporn Prathomchai