The Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) yesterday announced the results of a survey it launched earlier this month, which found that mayoral and county commissioner candidates nominated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) were the least environmentally concerned, scoring only 32 percent in terms of environmental engagement.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates recorded the highest turnout, with 94 percent of its candidates taking part in the survey, while those running independently posted a 75 percent engagement rate.
In the form of a questionnaire, the survey asked the candidates to express their opinions on 20 issues about the environment and people’s quality of life, such as abolishing the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮); cracking down on companies who skip legal procedures to start construction projects; tightening food safety inspection standards; and preventing genetically modified food from being served at schools.
Among the DPP candidates that agreed to all 20 appeals were New Taipei City mayoral candidate Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), Taoyuan mayoral commissioner candidate Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), Chiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang (張花冠), Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢).
Other candidates who said “yes” to all of the group’s appeals included independent Taipei mayoral candidate Neil Peng (馮光遠) and KMT Chiayi mayoral candidate Chen Yi-chen (陳以真).
Independent Taipei mayoral hopeful Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) agreed to all but one appeal: boosting the production or storage capacity of the city’s renewable energy infrastructure by 10 percent every year, saying that he would use the proposal as a reference for policymaking if elected.
KMT Taipei candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) did not respond to the questionnaire.
TEPU vice chairman Liu Chih-chien (劉志堅) said that the greatest difference between KMT and DPP candidates was their stance on nuclear energy.
Six KMT candidates, including Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) and Keelung mayoral candidate Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功), either rejected or ignored the proposals to abolish the Gongliao plant and to decommission the nation’s Jinshan, Guosheng, in Wanli District (萬里), and Ma-anshan (馬鞍山) nuclear power plants according to the schedule laid out by the Executive Yuan, saying that they share the same views with the government on the issue, and that the nation’s energy policies should be formulated based on the conclusions reached during the national energy policy conference in January next year.
Liu said the survey collected 54 valid samples from 84 candidates nationwide.
He added that many independent candidates have been very active in social and environmental movements and deserve more attention and support from the public.
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