EPA head wel­comes col­lab­o­ra­tion with ECCT

Min­istry draft­ing mea­sures to cut green­house gases

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY DIM­ITRI BRUYAS

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.

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