Sat, Aug 25, 2012 - Page 4 News List

EPA clarifies low-carbon cities plan

ENLIGHTENED IDEAS:According to the EPA minister, cities with concrete energy-saving proposals are to be first in line to receive government funding

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday that it has not promised to give NT$5 billion (US$167 million) funding to “demonstration cities” — cities which would demonstrate Taiwan’s low carbon emission policies — but that it does plan to seek funding for concrete projects for energy saving and carbon reduction items.

EPA Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) said four cities in four parts of Taiwan— New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Yilan County — have been chosen as “demonstration cities” for establishing a low carbon emission city in the future, according to the report of the third National Energy Conference in 2009.

The report included the goal of establishing 50 low carbon communities in two years, four low carbon cities and two low carbon islands (Kinmen and Penghu) in the next five years. In addition, the report proposes to establish four low carbon living circles — north, central, south and east Taiwan — in the next 10 years, the EPA said.

The selection of cities was done between 2010 and last year, the EPA said.

Shen said establishing a low carbon nation is a long-term operation, and a budget planning, including compilation of local budgets, introduction of civic investment and central government funding, of NT$300 billion has been brought up by the participating cities.

Although the EPA said it would strive to gain NT$30 billion funding from the central government during the selection of demonstration cities, it did not promise to give NT$5 billion to each selected city, Shen said

The funds necessary for achieving the establishment of a low carbon city must come from negotiation between central and local governments, which should determine projects and budgets, Shen said.

In addition, local governments should invite civic investment, he added.

The EPA said it has negotiated with the four cities as well as related government ministries and civic sectors in planning draft contents, but before the operation schemes are settled, the administration will provide funding to the cities with clear and concrete operation methods first.

Cities with concrete proposals such as to replace street lamps with energy-saving LED light bulbs, or self-redeeming methods for saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emission will be eligible to receive funding first, Shen said.

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