Climate change has the potential to cause severe impact on the living environment. It is a major issue that all members of the international community are currently concerned about, and it has a deep relevance to Taiwan, as well as to the industries, on attaining sustainable development. The island attributes of Taiwan are what make Taiwan vulnerable as it faces the impacts of global climate change. According to the current rate of sea-level rise estimated by IPCC, Taiwan’s land area will most definitely be impacted. In addition to the threats to survival, if Taiwan cannot participate in the Kyoto mechanisms established by the UNFCCC to relieve economic pressure from the high cost of carbon reduction, Taiwan’s industries will lose international competitiveness as well as the incentives to move toward a green industrial structure and low-carbon society.
The UNFCCC’s current mechanisms and action response to global climate change will deeply influence the development of the economy, trade, energy, environmental protection for generations to come and will lead to the formation of a new global disposition and market. Taiwan should not be absent at this crucial juncture and should instead actively seek for an appropriate status in the global community in order to maintain its national interest, security and industrial international competitiveness. The Taiwan government promulgated the Greenhouse Gases Reduction and Management Act on July 1, 2015, to serve as the legal basis for climate change response. Being the first law in Taiwan to empower the government to formulate related regulations and share the common but differentiated responsibility with the global society, the Act not only has a clear emission reduction target of 50% 2005 level by 2050 but also implements carbon reduction through a five-year control cycle. Taiwan will implement an economy-wide target, through domestic abatement effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from the business-as-usual level by 2030.
Taiwan has proactively, and in a pragmatic manner, proposed this ambitious target for short to medium-term carbon reduction contributing to the domestic reduction in GHG emissions. It is challenging for Taiwan to meet the targets that can satisfy both GHG emissions and economic growth. Taiwan is facing the unavoidable threat of climate change in all aspects from business to people’s daily life. Through the cooperation between central and local governments, the public and private sectors, Taiwan will increase the capacity in its response to climate change and achieve the goal as a paradigm shift in pursuit of a sustainable low carbon society.