Poor air quality is a major problem across Thailand. While a number of Plans and Acts relating to the control of air quality and emissions exist, the measures taken are often reactive and major gaps in enforcement remain.

In this brief, we outline the key findings of a recent working paper (Air quality in Thailand: Understanding the regulatory context) in which we presented a comprehensive desk review of Thailand’s existing institutional mechanisms related to air quality, mapping out their interlinkages and the remaining gaps. This paper was intended to inform further practical research relating to air quality in Bangkok, and assist in identifying entry points for policy recommendations.

There are a number of barriers that need to be addressed in order to facilitate effective, long-term improvements in Thailand’s air quality. Since the issue of air quality involves various sources of pollutants from different sectors, a national regulatory body with the overarching power to address all types of air pollutants and coordinate the action of different ministries is needed.

Positive steps have been taken towards creating a stronger overarching air quality policy, with groups such as the Thailand Clean Air Network and the Thai Chamber of Commerce submitting draft Clean Air Acts to Parliament for debate. While Thailand does not lack legislation concerning air pollution, ineffective implementation remains the key barrier to measures that put public health first.