The Legislative Yuan is expected to review the draft greenhouse gas reduction act this week, which would set up a system controlling greenhouse gas emissions and the trade in carbon credits to help reach government emission reduction targets.
Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) backed the bill after briefing President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on the year’s achievements and key future environmental policy challenges.
The EPA said after hearing Shen’s report, Ma said that in addition to encouraging domestic industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Ministry of Economic Affairs should encourage large-scale enterprises to acquire carbon credits abroad and figure carbon dioxide reduction costs into industrial development costs as a whole.
The draft was mapped out by the EPA in 2006 to establish a domestic legal framework to manage greenhouse gas emissions in Taiwan.
Legislators began to review the draft bill in committee earlier this year but have yet to reach a consensus on a number of clauses, including whether to put a schedule of carbon reduction targets in the act.
“Once a political figure declares [his target], he has the duty to make efforts to achieve it,” Shen said when asked whether the target would be included.
He said the president had already announced carbon reduction targets that were noted in the Sustainable Energy Policy Guidelines approved by the Cabinet in June.
In accordance with Ma’s promises and the Guidelines, the government vowed to maintain Taiwan’s total greenhouse gas emissions at this year’s levels between 2016 and 2020, reduce emissions to 2000 levels by 2025, halve emissions from 2000 levels by 2050 and increase the low-carbon energy proportion of the country’s total energy supply to more than 55 percent by 2025.
To promote voluntary emission reductions among private companies, the EPA set up a national Greenhouse Gas Registry last year to allow enterprises to voluntarily report their emissions inventories. To date, 136 enterprises have registered their greenhouse gas emissions data, Shen said.
Three “carbon-reduction” draft laws are pending review in the Legislative Yuan, including the greenhouse gas reduction act, the statute on the development of renewable energy and the energy management law.