Sun, Dec 02, 2018 - Page 1 News List

UK officials express support for Taiwan having UNFCCC role

INTERNATIONAL ISSUE:Two ministers said broad cooperation was needed to tackle climate change, which does not recognize the boundaries of territory

Staff writer, with CNA, LONDON

Two top British government officials have expressed their support for Taiwan’s bid to participate as an observer in an upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference.

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, or COP24, is scheduled to start today in Katowice, Poland, and end on Dec. 14. The UNFCCC is an international treaty aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations and preventing their interference with the global climate system.

Taiwan has since 2009 lobbied to be included in the UNFCCC. Although it is not a member of the UN, Taiwan was allowed to attend one previous climate change meeting.

In response to a written question from British MP George Howarth, British Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Claire Perry on Thursday said in a written answer that the UK’s cooperation on renewable energy with Taiwan has been part of bilateral commercial and economic ties.

The British government last year agreed to start an official dialogue on energy as a component of annual trade talks, with the first meeting taking place in June this year in London between officials of the British Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the British Department for International Trade, and a Taiwanese delegation led by the Bureau of Energy, she said.

“Broader energy and climate change cooperation between the UK and Taiwan is part of our economic and commercial relationship,” Perry said. “We expect this engagement to continue in the margins of the 24th Conference of the Parties under the UNFCCC next month [this month], though no formal plans have yet been made.”

“Broad cooperation is vital for tackling this global issue,” she added.

In response to a written question by MP Scott Mann, British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field on Tuesday said that the British government has consistently stated its support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations where the UK believes Taiwan has a valuable contribution to make on issues of global concern.

“This includes the issue of climate change, which does not recognize the concept of territorial boundaries,” Field said in a written answer. “The British government welcomes the contribution Taiwan voluntarily makes in combating climate change, despite not being a signatory to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and we continue to work closely with Taiwan on this matter.”

Representative to the UK David Lin (林永樂) expressed gratitude to the British government for its support of Taiwan’s bid to participate in international organizations, as well as its friendship with Taiwan.

Earlier this month, the British government said it would discuss with its international partners about Taiwan’s bid to participate in the International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol, as an observer.

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