Sat, Dec 22, 2007 - Page 2 News List

EPA to unveil plan for global body next month

TARGETS An official also discussed policy objectives over the next five years, including reducing poor air quality incidence and improving water quality

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) will present a comprehensive plan next month to push for the establishment of a World Environment Organization (WEO), EPA Minister Winston Dang (陳重信) said yesterday.

Dang, responding to a proposal put forth by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in May calling for the formation of WEO, said the EPA met with environmentalists and academics last month to discuss the issue and held seminars this month to facilitate further discussions.

Dang also disclosed the EPA's policy objectives over the next five years during a report at the Presidential Office on the nation's efforts to protect the environment. These include reducing the percentage of days with poor air quality to below 1.5 percent by 2011 and improving the water quality of five urban rivers in Taipei County, Keelung City, Tainan County, Kaohsiung County and Pingtung County, Dang said.

On environmental diplomacy, Dang said an air monitoring station that Taiwan is helping to set up in Guatemala is expected to be completed next year.

In related news, Lin Yu-Kai (林于凱), section chief of the EPA's public relations office, said that the agency would have to start from scratch and refile its proposed law on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions after lawmakers failed to pass it before the end of the legislative session yesterday.

"Despite the detour, the EPA is determined in its anti-global warming efforts," he said. "In the meantime, the EPA will lay the groundwork, such as evaluating and registering the greenhouse gas emissions of all businesses around the country."

The EPA will form a greenhouse gas emission reduction office to centralize the anti-global warming task force, so that all inter-ministry dealings can go through one consolidated body, he said.

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