Tue, Dec 18, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan must abide by international rules on greenhouse gas emissions: EPA

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation's most urgent environmental issue is to follow international guidelines on greenhouse gas emission controls, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Deputy Minister Chang Feng-teng (張豐藤) told a press conference yesterday.

The UN Climate Change Conference ended on Saturday with the adoption of the Bali Roadmap, Chang said.

"The roadmap is a charted course aimed at reaching an international agreement to combat global warming for the post-Kyoto Protocol era [2012] by 2009," he said.

Chang, who headed the nation's representatives to the conference, said the goal of their attendance was two-fold: to grasp the latest developments in international standards for fighting climate change, "so that we can make laws accordingly" and, "to let the international community hear our voice."

"As the first non-Kyoto Protocol member to propose a greenhouse gas emission policy, several developed countries, such as Japan, were impressed with Taiwan's efforts to participate at the international level," Chang said.

At a separate press conference yesterday, the Taiwan Green Party and non-governmental organizations, including Taiwan Environmental Active Network (TEAN) and Taiwan Environmental Information Association (TEIA), also shared their thoughts on the Bali meetings.

"The Bali Roadmap places responsibility on developed countries to aid developing ones, requesting that the former establish Adaptation Funds as well as technology transfers to the latter," TEIA editor-in-chief Peng Jui-hsiang (彭瑞祥) said.

The roadmap also seeks to address deforestation, Peng said.

Several important agreements were reached at this year's conference, TEAN's Cheng I-chin (鄭一青) said.

"Developed countries are raising the bar for themselves. For example, the EU's original goal was to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent in 2020. They have increased that to 30 percent," she said.

"In the post-2012 era, the leading 25 countries, including Taiwan, who are responsible for 83 percent of global emissions, will be key targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction," she said.

In addition to the roadmap, the UN's 13th Conference of Parties (COP13), attended by city alliances, reached an agreement to reduce their carbon emissions to 60 percent of 1990 levels by 2050, she said.

In response to the Bali Roadmap, the groups made three requests to the government.

"We should have policies aimed to reducing carbon emission by 50 percent by 2050 as per international trends," Cheng said.

"Taiwan cannot play the `non-UN member' card anymore," she said.

"Since COP13 participants consist of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, which includes Taipei and Kaohsiung, and United Cities and Local Governments, which includes Taichung, we should see ourselves as part of the global effort," she said.

The last request concerned governmental control of Taiwanese manufacturers and businesses, Cheng said.

During COP13, the groups collected signatures from international representatives against the construction of "major mistakes in environmental protection," Cheng said.

"The government must reconsider building these monstrosities that would make us international outcasts in the fight against carbon emission reduction," Cheng said.

Using the proposals to build Formosa Plastic Group's steel plant and the Suhua Freeway linking Ilan and Hualien as examples, she said that: "Developing countries such as South Africa and Brazil, in recognition of the impact of climate change to the survival or humanity, are voluntarily participating in a long term battle against it."

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