Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥) yesterday said Taiwan’s diplomatic allies expressed support for the nation’s inclusion in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 21st convention conference (COP21) in Paris, while stressing Taiwan’s role in assisting developing nations in adapting to climate change.
Wei made the remark upon arriving at Taoyuan International Airport from Paris, saying that 12 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, most of which were Central American nations, had expressed support for Taiwan’s inclusion as an observer in the UNFCCC.
While Taiwan remains excluded from the UNFCCC meeting as a political entity, he participated in the Paris meetings as part of a non-governmental organization and conducted 17 bilateral meetings with other member states to discuss possible cooperation, Wei said.
He called for the inclusion of all members of the UNFCCC to extend the upcoming Paris Agreement to all nations, including Taiwan.
As the nation’s first EPA minister to take part in COP climate change meetings, Wei said: “It was Taiwan’s highest level of participation at a climate change convention and we hope that the ministerial level would become a permanent part of the conventions. The ministry gained an insight into the convention’s negotiation mechanism by interacting with members states, while our national effort to reduce carbon emissions has been recognized.”
Taiwan’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (溫室氣體減量法) and formulation of an intended a contribution — which aims for a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared with 2005 levels — have been the highlights of the delegation’s interactions with other nations, he said
Capping the increase in average global temperature at 1.5°C, instead of the 2°C, as well as the allocation and distribution of the climate change funds, were major topics at the COP21 to prepare developing and island nations for climate change, he said.
As a non-member state of the UNFCCC, Taiwan’s role in combating climate change lies in helping island nations secure the adaptation fund, as it has experience in climate change legislation, while it could also provide technical support to other nations in building coastal infrastructure to cope with rising sea levels, he said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
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