Actions to Reduce GHG Emission

Climate change is the major human challenge of our time. Its effects are global in nature. Warming trends threaten to bring sea level rise, drought and water shortage, diseases and health risks, biodiversity losses to the people of the world in our generation and for generations to come. As an island economy situated in one of the world’s most geologically and meteorologically sensitive regions, Taiwan is particularly vulnerable. It is crucial we take actions early to avoid these potential devastations. The Government of Taiwan is committed to meets these challenges. It plans to:

  • reduce emissions in Taiwan through institution and education in the short and the long term
  • prepare for the impacts of climate change through targets and action plans on mitigation and adaptation
  • seek to participate in global actions to curb the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) by contributing our fare share

 

Action in Taiwan

The Government of Taiwan has prepared a comprehensive plan of action to reduce our national emissions. Key elements include:

  • Committing to stepwise reduction of Taiwan’s GHG emissions toward 50% reduction from year 2000 levels by the year 2050

    To make an active contribution to the global effort in reducing the GHG emissions, the Government of Taiwan has announced its policy manifests to return national GHG emissions to 2008 levels by the years during 2016 and 2020. Emission levels are to be cut further to 2000 levels by 2025, and 50% of 2000 levels by 2050.

  • Enacting the GHG Reduction Act as the legal framework to regulate GHG emissions

    The Act has gone through several rounds of discussion and negotiation at the Legislature, and is expected to be passed in the near future. It serves as the legal basis for developing and implementing national GHG emission reduction measures as well as participating and contributing in collaborative international actions.

  • Crafting a Sustainable Energy Policy that balances the considerations of energy, economic development and environmental protection

    The announced policy builds on two highs – high efficiency and high added value, and two lows – low emissions and low fossil fuel dependency. It focuses on clean energy sources and energy efficiency as cornerstones to the solutions. Actions have already been taken to restructure the primary energy mix, and to improve energy efficiency and conservation in various end-use sectors. Enacted policies and measures include Renewable Energy Act, Partial Amendment in Energy Management Act, Sustainable Green Energy Industry Proposal, and rebates for realized reductions in power consumption for both residential and business rate payers.

  • Taking Actions at the End-use Sectors

    In the three National Energy Conferences held in 1998, 2005 and 2009, goals for improvement and targets for voluntary reduction in the industry sector have been progressive developed. Approaches range from industry upgrading, measures of policy, low carbon technology development and implementation, to the adjustment of industry makeup toward lower energy intensities and higher added values. Voluntary Agreements between government and industry on a National GHG Registry Platform are under way to prepare for the institution of emission trading for selected industries.

    For the transport sector, developing a green transport infrastructure is the major issue on the agenda with particular emphasis on public transport and vehicle energy efficiency, promotion of LPG, biofuel and hybrid electrical vehicles, GHG inventory reporting.

    For the residential and commercial sector, promoting low carbon and energy conserving green architecture through energy conserving design of building facades and air-conditioning system, and improving urban planning, as well as promote forestation in urban areas to create a low carbon city.

    In addition to these end-use sectors, actions are also underway in the areas of afforestation and reforestation as well as waste to energy and waste to fuels.

  • Enhancing Public Awareness of the Needs to Curb GHG Emissions

    Taiwan’s public awareness campaign on climate change is led by its President Mr. Ma Ying-jeou. He has personally led the nationwide endorsement of the “On Ten-Step Declaration on Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction” on World Environment Day 2008.

    The EPA has created the Eco-Life website (http://ecolife.epa.gov.tw/) as a platform on which citizens and civil servants can exchange ideas about how to clean up homes and residential environments. The website is also a means for environmentally-conscious householders and members of the public to interact and inform each other of relevant activities.

“Blue skies and green earth”, “Verdant mountains and pristine water”, and “Health and sustainability” are our visions. The goal, as always, is to combine forces where possible and improve the lives of all Taiwan’s citizens. Taiwan is implementing five main environmental strategies of “Restructuring to promote sustainability”, “Saving Energy and reducing carbon emissions to cool the earth”, “Recycling wastes to achieve zero waste”, “Minimizing pollutions and protecting the ecosystem”, “Maintaining a clean neighborhood and promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles”.

Dealing with the Impacts of Climate Change

As a SIDS (small island developing states) which are susceptible to a range of natural hazards such as typhoons, landslides, droughts, floods, sea level rising, deteriorated health and biodiversity. Taiwan is facing a great challenge of climate change.

Typhoon Morakot, which just blown through southern Taiwan in August 2009, was the deadliest typhoon to impact Taiwan in recorded history. The accumulated rainfall reached 2,900mm within three days, and peaked at 1,400mm in central-south mountainous area. Extensive flooding and landslides had claimed some 700 deaths, and countless other losses of property damage. Therefore, Taiwan had engaged with humanitarian assistance due to the unique situation.

The IPCC reports clearly indicate that such global challenge cannot be met by unilateral commitment to the environmental sustainability. The lack of access to the Convention platform with vast resource transfer leaves Taiwan alone in facing the consequences of global climate change, and this is another type of survival crisis.

 

International Cooperation

Taiwan has always sought actively to collaborate internationally to advance the causes of GHG reduction. These collaborative activities include the measurement and monitoring of greenhouse gases, cross-border long-distance transference of toxic substances as well as joint research and development on clean energy technologies. We will continue to seek and sponsor international cooperation efforts.

Taiwan is eager to collaborate with other members of the international community to bring the emissions of GHG under control through the Kyoto and its successor Protocols and other mechanism put in place by UNFCCC. Our efforts in environmental preservation and our unique vulnerabilities in the face of accelerating climate change have made it evident that Taiwan is both worthy and in need of being included. We have a lot to share, both in economic development and environmental preservation. We are also confident Taiwan will be a very positive factor in any of the UN environmental conventions and protocols we join.

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