Groups dedicated to saving the environment yesterday announced their overall evaluation of the government’s energy policies over the past four years, saying the scores were disappointing.
Green Citizens’ Action Alliance secretary-general Lai Wei-chieh (賴偉傑) said the assessment was based on a number of aspects of governmental energy policies. Lai said his group — in conjunction with the Homemakers’ Union and Foundation, the Society of Wilderness, the Green Party of Taiwan and Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan — considered the government had “made no progress” in the structural adjustment of industries, the establishment of an energy tax or the promotion of a greenhouse gas emissions reduction act.
They also gave the government a “failed” score over its nuclear power policies, energy efficiency and its promotion of renewable energy, adding that the government had also scored “zero points” for its green economy.
Lai said the structural adjustment of industry is a hugely important area of policy which would help achieve a nuclear-free homeland and a low-carbon society. Last year’s Ministry of Economic Affairs’ industrial development strategy for 2020 set a goal of ensuring that high-energy-consuming industries occupy only 30.06 percent of the manufacturing industries’ total production value structure. Lai said that this is only a slight markdown from the 30.36 percent level in 2009, suggesting that the government lacks the will to make real adjustments.
Meanwhile, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan chairperson Lee Ken-cheng (李根政) said that Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) has predicted that electricity demand will continue to grow in the coming years so more power plants will need to be built. However, the government should still set a goal of achieving zero-growth on electricity consumption, he said.
The groups also criticized the government for proposing a passive goal of 2 percent energy efficiency improvements each year, noting that an average annual reduction of 1.93 percent was achieved between 2002 and 2010 .
The groups also said that the government has mistaken the concept of a green economy with the development of a green energy industry, saying that a real green economy should not be valued primarily on economic outcomes, but by evaluating the eco-impact of business as well as setting policies for sustainable development.