Wed, Nov 03, 2004 - Page 2 News List

More effort urged on curbing emissions

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan is not a party to the Kyoto Protocol, which is likely to go into effect early next year. But the nation should soon establish specific goals to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to ensure its economic competitiveness, environmental groups said yesterday.

Yesterday, 69 groups held a press conference to remind the Executive Yuan of the importance of keeping Taiwan abreast of international trends and the fight against global warming. The groups urged the government to revise its out-of-date industrial policies, which have led to the continuous growth of emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce by 5.2 percent the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in one category of developed countries within the five-year period of 2008 to 2012. However, environmentalists said that it would be impossible for Taiwan to reach that goal.

Statistics from the Environmental Protection Administration show that in the energy sector, Taiwan's carbon dioxide emissions increased to 255 million tonnes last year from 113 tonnes in 1990.

"Our carbon dioxide emissions are still growing," said Mary Chen (陳曼麗), chairwoman of the Homemakers' Union and Foundation. "It's time for the government to strictly limit emissions of carbon dioxide by adjusting its transportation and industrial policies."

Chen also stressed the importance of informing the public about their responsibility to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Taiwan produces more carbon dioxide than all but 21 nations. For its size, Taiwan is a major emitter of greenhouse gases, environmentalists said. There are more than 15 million vehicles in Taiwan, which is home to 23 million people.

Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union said the government should pass regulations to promote renewable energy sources and also levy a carbon tax.

Wang To-far (王塗發), councilor of the Executive Yuan's National Council of Sustainable Development, said that if Taiwan doesn't cut emissions in the near future, other countries might impose economic sanctions against it.

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