World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Taiwan continues its climate change efforts

Taiwan continues its efforts to overcome the challenges posed by climate change

Stephen Shu-hung Shen

Minister of the Environmental Protection Administration

Republic of China (Taiwan)

Mitigating climate change—the most pressing challenge the international community is facing today—has a direct bearing on the sustainable development of nations around the world, as well as the survival of humankind. Despite Taiwan’s unique status in international politics, our government has actively participated in global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and has encouraged our citizens to contribute to these efforts. In 2010, we voluntarily pledged to the UNFCCC Secretariat and the international community that we would set concrete emission reduction targets. The international community should recognize and take note of Taiwan’s actions, and include it in the worldwide network of mutual assistance.

Two strategic components can be distinguished in our endeavors to mitigate the effects of climate change: containing the phenomenon and adapting to it. With regard to containing climate change, the ROC government at the end of 2009 established the Executive Yuan Steering Committee on Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction, which is responsible for formulating a national master plan to reduce emissions. It aims to actively create a sound legal environment and green transportation infrastructure, as well as low-carbon energy systems, communities, and industries. Meanwhile, in 2012 Taiwan adopted national climate change adaptation guidelines covering eight major domains—disasters, essential infrastructure, water resources, land use, coastal areas, energy supply, biodiversity, and health.

In addition, the government is continuing to promote the passage of a Green House Gas Reduction Bill. This bill, along with the Energy Tax Bill that is currently being studied, the Energy Management Act that has already been implemented, and the Renewable Energy Development Statute, constitutes the legal framework for the reduction of greenhouse gases in Taiwan.

President Ma Ying-jeou has explicitly stated that “developing an environment characterized by low carbon emissions and high reliance on green energy” is one of the five pillars of Taiwan’s national development, so as to gradually transform Taiwan into a “low-carbon, green-energy island.” The government has also aggressively initiated a plan to build a “low carbon and sustainable homeland.” As part of this plan, 52 rural villages, three cities—New Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan—and one county, Yilan, have been selected as model communities in terms of low-carbon and sustainable environments, with the aim of encouraging the people of Taiwan to actively participate in the development of such a homeland. Meanwhile, the government is promoting electric motorcycle battery exchange systems, geographic information systems (GIS) for bicycle road networks, and hybrid cars. It also plans to replace all traditional buses in urban areas with electric buses in the coming 10 years, so as to gradually establish a low-carbon transportation infrastructure.

Faced with severe challenges posed by climate change, Taiwan’s efforts over the past few years to reduce carbon emissions have already yielded concrete results. From 2008 to 2012, annual energy consumption fell by an average of 0.1%, which marked a significant improvement compared with the period 2004-2007, during which it grew by an average of 3.3%. Furthermore, in 2008 carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion dropped for the first time, and between 2008 and 2012 these emissions continued to fall by an average of 0.6% per year, which was also much better than the period 2004-2007, during which emissions increased by an average of 2.7% per year. Taking a closer look at 2012, Taiwan’s economy witnessed growth of 1.32%, but carbon emissions fell by 1.90%, demonstrating that an inverse relationship now exists between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions.

The ROC government has actively sought international support to expand its international space, and has initiated pragmatic and constructive dialogue with mainland China, achieving significant results. In 2009, member countries of the United Nations for the first time invited the ROC government to formally participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer, and we have continued to attend every year since. Furthermore, in September 2013 Taiwan was invited to attend the 38th Session of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization as a guest of the President of the Council. Our participation in these two bodies is of great symbolic meaning and has given us considerable encouragement. We hope that the international community will take into account these precedents and allow Taiwan to substantively participate in the UNFCCC. This will enable us to receive support from and contribute to the international community.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news