Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Mayors of Taipei, Taichung, Tainan participate in climate change forum

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The mayors of Taipei, Taichung and Tainan on Saturday met via video teleconference during this year’s World Wide Views on Climate and Energy forum held in the three municipalities to share their thoughts on climate change and the energy policies undertaken by their administrations.

The forum took the form of roundtable discussions among participants from the public, who also filled out a survey handed out by the event’s organizers.

The survey showed that 78.8 percent of participants were “very concerned” about climate change, compared with 79.9 percent of international panelists who echoed the sentiment.

A total of 83.1 percent of Taiwanese participants said they were dissatisfied with the outcome of negotiations initiated by the UN since 1992 to tackle climate change, while disapproval ratings generated among international participants stood at 72.2 percent.

Asked how urgently the world should respond to climate change, 39.7 percent of respondents said that the international community should agree to do whatever it takes to prevent global warming from reaching 2oC during the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, which begins on Nov. 30.

Slightly more than half of Taiwanese respondents, 53.8 percent, supported ambitious actions by international governments against climate change after factoring the costs of such actions.

The results represented a marked difference when compared with 64.4 percent of panelists worldwide who said that immediate and bold actions should be decided by governments during the UNFCCC.

Regarding the panelists’ preferred method to achieve large-scale cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, 41.8 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they would like to see more government support for research on low carbon output technologies — for example, the development of more energy-efficient batteries — while 41.5 percent said the government should grant more subsidies to power generation technologies that employ renewable energy sources.

The mayors individually responded to participants’ views via a video teleconference broadcast to participants in all three municipalities.

Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said that Tainan has made good use of abundant sunlight in the region and has developed photovoltaic energy generation infrastructure with an overall installed capacity of 1.13 million megawatts, or 142 million kilowatt hours.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that energy conservation and carbon emissions reduction measures should be practiced by paying attention to the little things in daily life to attain the best results.

He said people should refrain from wearing suits and ties when temperatures are high; that air conditioners be used only when temperatures reach at least 28oC; and that people should take the stairs instead of elevators when possible.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) touted his plan to plant 1 million trees in the municipality within eight years to reduce carbon dioxide levels.

The day-long event was attended by more than 300 Taiwanese aged 16 or above, with the participants selected at random from a pool of applicants.

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