Hundreds of Tainan residents marched downtown yesterday as part of a city event attended by Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) to draw awareness to rising carbon emissions.
Saying that global warming was responsible for rising water levels and an increase in natural disasters and could cause major agricultural problems, Hsu called on residents to help the city lower emissions to 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
The city would also abide by a last-minute compromise reached in Copenhagen last week to limit temperature increases to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, Hsu said, adding that in order to do so, atmospheric carbon content would have to be kept below 350 parts per million (ppm).
Figures from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicate that average global temperatures are 0.7ºC above pre-industrial levels, while atmospheric carbon content is at 390ppm.
“The march held yesterday was our response to the Copenhagen summit,” said Chang Hwang-jen (張皇珍), director of the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau.
More than 1,200 residents joined the march, she said, more than double the municipal government’s initial estimates.
“Tainan is unique in that there are more than 300 temples in our city alone ... Most have a hard time adapting to our environmental initiatives, including using LED light sources and lowering waste,” Chang said.
But she said her department was committed to working with operators and residents to improve the situation. Additionally, the department will work to educate communities about sustainable development, she said.