In a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions, all agencies and public schools under the Taipei City Government are to purchase only electric scooters from now on, the Taipei Environmental Protection Department said yesterday.
Department official Yan Ling-chen (顏伶珍) said Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had signed off on the rule, making Taipei the first city in the nation to implement the rule.
Yan said that traditional scooters contribute to global warming and poor air quality, as each scooter emits an average of 415.9kg more carbon dioxide and 0.18kg more PM2.5 — pathogenic airborne particulates measuring up to 2.5 micrometers — than an electric scooter does in one year.
She said that although the number of registered electric scooters in Taipei has risen from 3,831 in 2013 to 5,713 last year, that still constitutes only a small proportion, 0.6 percent, of the scooters in the municipality.
She said that schools and agencies under the city government have a total of 2,258 scooters, of which only 44 are electric, adding up to a paltry 2 percent of all scooters used by public servants.
That indicates the government could step up its commitment to embracing environmentally friendly vehicles, she said, adding that she hopes that by gradually phasing out gasoline-powered scooters in the public sector, the private sector would then follow suit.
The city has 370 charging points at MRT stations, parking lots and stores selling electric scooters, and the number is expected to reach 400 by the end of this year, she said.
The Taipei Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said it had added electric scooters under the city’s procurement guidelines to be observed by all agencies for fiscal year 2017.
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
National Taiwan University Hospital’s (NTUH) Ethical Review Committee on Tuesday approved the hospital’s application to conduct human trials of mixed Moderna and Medigen COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital yesterday said that 220 volunteers aged 20 to 70 who have received one dose of a Moderna vaccine eight to 12 weeks ago are to be enrolled in the program. The volunteers are to be separated into two groups — a treatment group and a control group — and a double-blind study would be conducted, assigning Medigen or Moderna vaccines to the groups on a random basis, it said. The trial is expected to start
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two
TAIWAN TIES: The foreign ministry said like-minded nations continue to express support for Taiwan’s ties with Lithuania, highlighting a letter by Slovenia’s PM US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday saluted Lithuania’s championing of democracy in Taiwan and Belarus. Lithuania in July agreed to let Taiwan open a representative office using its own name, prompting a pressure campaign by China. “We stand against economic coercion, including that being exerted by China,” Blinken said as he welcomed Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis in Washington. “We stand strongly for democracy, including in Belarus, where we’re very much working together,” Blinken said. Landsbergis told reporters afterward that he and Blinken discussed “economic, financial, political measures” that can be taken to withstand Chinese pressure. “We discussed various possible measures