Fri, Dec 14, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Pricing strategy key to effective energy use: academic

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s manufacturing industries have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 1.18 million tonnes this year and cut a total of 8.44 million tonnes of emissions since 2005, the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) said yesterday.

The figure means there is further room for improvement, as the government has set a target of bringing carbon dioxide emissions down to 2008 levels of 2.85 million tonnes by 2020, and to 2000 levels of 2.14 million tonnes by 2025.

It also shows that the government must adopt reasonable pricing strategies to help manufacturers enhance energy efficiency, an academic said yesterday at a government-sponsored conference.

An effective pricing strategy is the key for the government to enhance the nation’s energy efficiency, said Liang Chi-yuan (梁啟源), chairman of the Taipei-based Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (中華經濟研究院).

Liang said the government could consider an energy tax or incentive mechanism to attract firms to begin “carbon trading,” under which they could purchase rights from others to emit extra volumes of greenhouse gases over a set ceiling.

“The government should initiate economic incentives to effectively enhance overall energy use and efficiency,” Liang said.

The legislature could also establish regulations to limit firms’ greenhouse gas emissions or design a label indicating a product’s emission volumes, so that consumers can understand products being sold and adjust their purchasing behavior accordingly, he added.

Mark Lin (林明儒), convener of the Chinese National Federation of Industries’ (CNFI, 全國工業總會) environmental protection and labor safety committee, said the Environmental Protection Administration’s draft greenhouse gas reduction act (溫室氣體減量法) is not complete because it attributes most responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to industry, with little responsibility being passed to the government and the public.

“There is room for improvement of the act because it is neither practical nor reasonable, and fails to fulfill promises to international organizations,” Lin said.

Lin called on the government not to list schedules and a carbon quota in the act, adding that major decisions should not be made by the Environmental Protection Administration alone, but alongside the IDB and related agencies.

He also suggested the government also require end-users to follow the act so that industries could remain competitive, achieving a “win-win” situation on both economic and environmental protection fronts.

The IDB yesterday gave out awards to 15 manufacturers for their efforts in energy-efficiency and cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

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