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.

Emis­sions Cred­its

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.

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