Sat, Jan 09, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan’s bid to participate in climate change convention not likely to succeed

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Taiwan’s efforts to participate as an observer in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) might have failed.

A UN official said this week that under current rules and regulations the nation was not eligible.

Over the past few months Taipei has pushed hard for observer status and garnered the support of its allies.

Environmental Protection Administration Minister Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥) upon his return from climate change talks in Paris last month said that the nation had a “good chance” of participating in the UNFCCC as an observer.

At the annual Conference of Parties (COP21) last month in the French capital, a total of 12 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies supported its bid for observer status and 19 nations sent letters on Taiwan’s behalf to the UN Secretariat.

However, when the Taipei Times asked the UNFCCC this week if there were any developments regarding Taiwan’s bid, legal officer Vanessa Matarazzi gave a negative response.

Article 7, paragraph 6, of the UNFCCC reads “the United Nations, its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any state member thereof or observers thereto not party to the convention, may be represented at sessions of the Conference of the Parties as observers,” Matarazzi wrote in an e-mail.

“The Republic of China is not a state member of the UN, any of its specialized agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency or an observer thereto,” she said.

“Since the Republic of China does not satisfy the criteria set out in Article 7, paragraph 6, of the convention, the secretariat is not in a position to invite the Republic of China to participate in the UNFCCC process as an observer in accordance with the draft rules of procedure of the COP being applied,” she said.

Taiwan’s efforts to cut carbon emissions showed its commitment to doing its part as a member of the international community, Wei said.

“As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan is committed to contributing to the fight against climate change and is one of the few countries to have voluntarily announced reduction targets for carbon dioxide emissions,” former Taiwan Benevolent Association of America president Kent Wang said.

Writing in the US political journal The Hill, Wang said that exclusion from the UNFCCC hampered Taiwan’s efforts.

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