Wed, May 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Officials back Kyoto Protocol alternative for emissions plan

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

High-ranking officials yesterday said that the government would prefer to develop a carbon emissions reduction strategy in accordance with the Asia-Pacific Part-nership on Clean Development and Climate (APP), rather than with the Kyoto Protocol -- a measure lauded by anti-Kyoto Protocol countries but condemned by environmentalists.

"While it's impossible to predict what the situation will be in the future, we hope that [Taiwan] will become a partner of the APP nations," Minister without Portfolio Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) said yesterday.

Ho made the remarks at a press conference held by the Government Information Office to publicize the agenda for the upcoming Economic Development Advisory Conference.

Although it is expected that measures to reduce carbon emissions will be discussed at the conference, which is scheduled for June 18 and 19, the government has remained cautious about the possible negative effects of the Kyoto Protocol on the nation.

The APP is an international non-treaty agreement among Australia, India, Japan, China, South Korea and the US, aimed at reducing carbon emissions not by setting carbon reduction goals as the Kyoto Protocol suggests, but by demanding that industries use advanced equipment that produces the least carbon emissions during the production process.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) gave a brief report on the issue at the press conference, saying that adopting Kyoto Protocol would not be beneficial to the nation.

"If we comply with the Kyoto Protocol's emissions reduction goal, we will suffer a big loss of GDP. The adoption will have a large impact on the economy," Chen said.

While Taiwan is not now obligated to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, the nation has been divided over whether to set a target of reducing greenhouse gases by national policies since the protocol entered into force last February.

Greenpeace, an international environmental organization, has criticized the APP, saying it relies only on voluntary measures, and contains no targets, timetables or financial mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

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