Taiwan lauds progress on greenhouse gas reduction as summit opens

Taipei-Taiwan has lauded its performance on greenhouse gas emissions as the United Nations Climate Action Summit, which it is not allowed to attend, opened Monday.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Monday in a statement that Taiwan has outperformed China, South Korea and Singapore in reducing carbon dioxide emissions since it put into practice the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act in 2005.

The act set five-year carbon reduction targets in the hope of reducing Taiwan's greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent of 2005 (base year) levels by 2050, according to the statement.

From 1990 to 2005, Taiwan's GHG emissions increased 110 percent mainly due to a rise in energy consumption associated with economic growth, but they increased by only 0.92 percent between 2005 and 2016, it said.

That translates to 0.1 percent average yearly growth in carbon dioxide emissions during that period, roughly equal to the level seen in Japan but lower than Singapore's 1.6 percent, South Korea's 2.3 percent and China's 4.8 percent.

During the period, Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 42 percent, while the carbon emission intensity, a measure of how much carbon economies emit for every dollar of GDP they produce, fell 28 percent, according to the EPA.

The EPA issued the statement in conjunction with the opening of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, at which the leaders of 60 countries are expected to speak and outline their country's emissions reduction plans.

Taiwan is not able to attend because it is not a member of the United Nations.

The EPA said Taiwan hopes to make further progress to cope with climate change by implementing the National Climate Change Action Guidelines and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Plan, which target six major sectors: energy, manufacturing, transportation, residential and commercial development, agriculture, and environmental management.

The agency said it will also meet with other government agencies, local governments, civil groups and experts to discuss improving Taiwan's legal system to encourage people to join carbon emission reduction efforts and build a sustainable low-carbon environment, the EPA said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel