New ‘historic’ carbon emissions law seeks to cut emissions by 50% by 2050
Lawmakers yesterday ratified a “historic” carbon footprint act that mandates Taiwan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half the level of 2005 by 2050.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin ( ) called it a historic point in Taiwan’s fight against climate change.
First proposed six years ago, the act passed third reading yesterday with support from both ruling and opposition lawmakers, according to Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Chiu Wen-yen ( ).
“The R.O.C. is not a member of the United Nations, but it is pledging to maintain international standards when it comes to carbon emissions reduction,” Chiu said.
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act ( ) aims at a 50-percent reduction in Taiwan greenhouse gas emissions below the 2005 level by 2050.
To achieve the target, it establishes a to- tal carbon emissions limit that will be lowered over time. Within that limit, Taiwan factories, power plants and other facilities that emit greenhouse gases can buy or trade emission credits.
If a company’s credits cannot cover all its emissions for the year, it will pay three times the carbon market price for the excess amount.
Companies that attempt to evade regulations are subject to a fine between NT$200,000 and NT$2 million. Under severe circumstances, non-compliant companies may be ordered to suspend operations.
In the event of a shutdown, a company’s carbon emissions credits are non-transferable and will be canceled by the Executive Yuan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA, ).
EPA Management Fund
Taiwan’s progress will be handled by the EPA, which will establish an emissions trading system that references practices by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other relevant bodies, according to the act.
The act requires the EPA to establish a climate change and emissions management fund responsible for collecting payments from companies.
All funds must be invested exclusively in initiatives that reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, including research and development of clean energy production technologies, industry inspections and education.
‘Significant milestone’: EETO
The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) yesterday released a statement praising the legislation, calling it a significant milestone in increasing Taiwan’s capacity to address climate change in the future.
This March 6, EU member nations announced a target of a 40-percent domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
“Climate change requires all global actors to join force. The EETO welcomes this important step forward in Taiwan and the EU will remain ready to share best practice to address one of the defining challenges of our generation,” the EETO stated.