EPA head welcomes collaboration with ECCT
Ministry drafting measures to cut greenhouse gases
Ahead of the COP21 meeting in Paris to be held in December this year, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA,
) announced yesterday its plan to draft a national action plan for climate change and implementation measures for cutting greenhouse gases ( GHG) to 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and 50 percent by 2050.
Already specified in the GHG Reduction and Management Act promulgated on July 1, 2015, the carbon cuts targets are part of Taiwan’s all-out efforts to address climate change, according to EPA Minister Wei Kuo-yen ( ) who unveiled three phases to the implementation.
The first phase will involve mandatory inventory, reporting and verification. In the second phase, the EPA is planning to set performance standards and provide rewards to encourage new and existing emitters to cut their emissions. Eventually, taking international developments and industry com- petitiveness into consideration, the EPA will establish a cap and trade scheme for GHG emissions.
Based on EPA figures, Taiwan’s total GHG emissions were responsible for about 0.55 percent of global emissions in 2012. While this is quite high on a per capita basis, the fact that Taiwan is an export-driven economy in which a large amount of production activity goes into export goods, should be factored into calculations of Taiwan’s overall emissions, the minister said.
Wei also pointed out that Taiwan’s overall emissions have more or less levelled off over the past seven years, despite an increase in GDP, demonstrating a decoupling between economic growth and GHG emissions over this period, mainly as a result of an improvement in energy efficiency.
The minister made the comments during a Premium Event lunch hosted by European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan, ( ECCT,
) in which he presented the EPA’s vision and plans to confront challenges facing Taiwan’s industry and society. Although Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, it has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) last month to cut emissions to 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and 50 percent by 2050.
To meet this objective, Taiwan has already enacted the Air Pollution Act and the GHG Reduction and Management Act. The latter will further integrate the elements of mitigation, adaptation and green growth, while assisting traditional industries in carbon reduction and restructuring, the creation of the green economy and the promotion of low-carbon green growth programs.
In light of the ECCT Low Carbon Initiative’s (LCI) latest report titled “The Path to Industrial Energy Efficiency in Taiwan — Partnering with the EU,” Minister Wei said that the government is committed to increasing international cooperation on climate change and expressed appreciation to ECCT members and European member states that have provided advice and support.
He noted that Taiwan could learn a lot from European governments and companies in terms of creating policy tools, and he welcomed collaboration with European companies in developing performance standards and promoting low carbon technology development in the future.