Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers aiming for gas emissions cut to 2005 levels

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers yesterday agreed on a regulation requiring the government reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels by 2025 to 2030.

Consensus was reached during a meeting of the legislature's Sanitation and Environment and Social Welfare committees to review a greenhouse gas emissions reduction bill.

While the debate revolved around whether the proposed regulation was too harsh or to weak compared with international standards, lawmakers were able to reach a consensus and agree on the measures the nation should adopt to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill will be presented to the legislature for consideration.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Jung-chang (王榮璋) and Wang To-far (王塗發) introduced the proposal, but the reduction target was left out in the Cabinet version.

"The bill will be meaningless without the inclusion of reduction targets. If we were proposing this bill from a business point of view, we wouldn't bother enacting it," KMT Legislator Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) said.

Wang Jung-chang criticized the regulation calling for "a very low standard." For his part, Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) proposed bringing the timetable for bringing emissions cuts forward to 2015.

"We should also aim to bring emissions back to 1990 levels, when the Kyoto Protocol was signed. Such a loose standard [as the one proposed yesterday] would make Taiwan a joke in the world," she said.

Adding to the debate was a clause introduced by Wang Jung-chang stating that "to reduce emissions to 1990 levels would be the country's long-term goal."

KMT Legislator Wu Ing-yi (吳英毅) said he would consider withdrawing his support for the 2005-level reduction goal if the 1990 reduction goal were written into the regulation.

Separately, lawmakers reached consensus on an article demanding that a proposal on greenhouse gases produced by electricity and manufacturing departments come into effect within two years -- at the latest -- after the bill is promulgated.

A proposal on emissions reduction for transportation and agricultural departments has to be implemented within four years.

A proposal for commercial, residential and other departments, meanwhile, has to be carried out within six years after the bill comes into force.

The Research Center for Environmental Change at Academia Sinica said that from 1990 to 2005, Taiwan ranked first in the world, among countries with a population of 10 million or more, in the growth rate of carbon dioxide emissions.

"As a committee in charge of the emissions reduction bill, we have to set a reduction target to meet public expectations," DPP Legislator Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) said.

Lawmakers, however, failed to agree on a mechanism by which the government would allocate carbon dioxide emission quotas among industrial sectors.

The bill left the committee yesterday and lawmakers will deliberate upon the proposed articles at a future date.

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