Thu, Jul 30, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet plans ‘low carbon’ Taiwan

DREAMING? The Cabinet plans to transform six cities or counties into ‘low carbon’ areas within five years and turn all of Taiwan into a ‘low carbon’ country by 2020

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Executive Yuan yesterday approved a proposal consisting of 16 measures to transform Taiwan into a “low carbon” country by 2020.

At a fortnightly meeting, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and ministers without portfolio reviewed the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ (MOEA) proposal, which was based on conclusions reached at the National Energy Conference held in April.

The proposal includes earmarking NT$45.413 billion (US$1.38 billion) in government funds in the first year.

The proposal set a long-term goal of cutting total annual greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by the year 2025.

The Executive Yuan has also asked the legislature to complete a bill on reducing carbon emissions and another bill on developing renewable energy.

Of the earmarked budget, NT$226 million will be used to promote renewable energy and facilities in homes and public buildings.

The Executive Yuan said it would invest NT$20 billion over the next five years into advancing techniques in seven industries: solar energy, LED lighting, wind power, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, biofuel, energy information and communications technology, and electric vehicles.

The measures also include enhancing cooperation between local governments and the central government on incentives for conserving energy and cutting emissions.

The measures include creating two pilot communities per county or city over the next two years, with 50 percent of the energy supply in those areas coming from renewable sources.

Six cities or counties should be fully transformed into “low carbon” areas within five years and the whole country should be made a “low carbon” region by 2020, the proposal said.

Total carbon dioxide emissions nationwide were 277.645 million tonnes in 2006, representing 124.68 percent growth over 1990’s 123.574 million tonnes, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) says.

The EPA’s data show that the energy conversion industry contributed to 6.9 percent of emissions in 2006, while heavy industry contributed 52.5 percent, the transportation sector contributed 14.3 percent, the commercial sector 6.3 percent and private households 12.1 percent.

Taiwan ranked third in Asia and 32nd worldwide in the 2009 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) for carbon dioxide emissions, published by Climate Action Network Europe (CAN-Europe) and Germanwatch.

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