Wed, Aug 28, 2013 - Page 4 News List

NGOs seeking aid on climate change

‘ACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE’:Taiwanese NGOs have won praise for their work from their international colleagues ahead of the UNFCCC NGO Forum being held in Taipei

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Representatives from international non-governmental organizations (NGO) accredited under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said in Taipei yesterday that they hoped for more collaboration with their Taiwanese counterparts on climate change issues.

Gotelind Alber, cofounder of Gender CC-Women for Climate Change, said that the projects Taiwan has undertaken to address climate change challenges since her previous visit to Taiwan a few years ago have been “impressive.”

One example she cited was the “ambitious” commitments that the nation has made to reductions of carbon dioxide emissions.

“I have seen some figures that there is a certain trend to reduce emissions. Of course, more needs to be done,” she said.

“Taiwan has done what many countries, including industrialized countries, have failed to do by setting itself targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” Alber said.

International efforts to deal with the problems of climate change will not be successful without participation from countries like Taiwan because it is already a developed and highly industrialized country, Alber said.

Marilyn Averill, chair of the UNFCCC NGO Research and Independent Non-governmental Organizations (RINGO) Constituency Steering Committee, said that Taiwan’s NGOs have been “active” and “effective” in their participation in the framework.

Taiwan’s participation as an NGO observer in the Conference of the Parties (COP), the supreme body of the UNFCCC which meets annually, over the years has had an impact, Averill said.

“Individual countries, even if partied to the UNFCCC, have difficulty really influencing what’s going on,” she said.

Seeking meaningful participation in the UNFCCC as an observer has been on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration’s agenda since 2009.

Given that Taiwan is not a UNFCCC contracting party, it has had to participate in COP meetings as a NGO observer using the Industrial Technology Research Institute’s (ITRI) name since 1995.

The NGO status only allows Taiwan to participate in peripheral UNFCCC events.

The visitors will attend the UNFCCC NGO Forum to be held today to exchange views with Taiwanese on how to enhance the engagement of observer organizations in the UNFCCC process. The forum is part of the government’s efforts to increase publicity of the country in its pursuit of meaningful participation in the framework.

Jason Lien (連建辰), the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Treaty and Legal Affairs, said that Taiwan would participate in COP 19 in Poland in November.

The delegation will be led by the ITRI and joined by government officials from the ministry, the Environmental Protection Administration, the National Science Council and the Council for Economic Planning and Development, the ministry said.

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