Fri, Jun 01, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Greenhouse gas emissions down as agency touts plan

By Yang Mien-chieh  /  Staff reporter

The nation has been cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, while the Environmental Protection Administration’s carbon reduction policy aims to achieve smaller improvements in the short term and heavier cuts in the long term, the agency said on Sunday.

Greenhouse gas emissions dropped from 277 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CDE) in 2007 to 263.1 million tonnes in 2015, a report released by the agency in December last year showed.

Ninety-five percent of the 2005 emissions came from carbon-emitting sources, mainly fossil-fuel combustion by the energy, manufacturing, construction and transportation sectors, the report said.

The energy sector’s carbon dioxide emissions have been fluctuating over the past five years, from 163.5 million tonnes in 2011 to 164.7 million tonnes of CDE in 2015, it showed.

Likewise, the manufacturing and construction sectors’ carbon dioxide emissions declined overall from 46.8 million tonnes in 2011 to 43.2 million tonnes in 2015, but saw some periods of increase, it added.

The transportation sector showed similar fluctuations over the period, producing 35.3 million tonnes in 2011 and 35.8 million tonnes in 2015, the report showed.

In addition to carbon dioxide emissions, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorinated compounds, sulfur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride are also major emission sources.

The nation’s greenhouse gas emissions increased from 1990 to 2007, but have become more stable since 2008, while the government’s promotion of “green” energy and efforts to regulate emissions would continue the improvement, the agency said.

The rise before 2007 resulted from increasing energy use, especially in 2007, when more than 53 percent of the nation’s electricity was generated from coal-fired sources, Department of Environmental Sanitation Management Deputy Director-General Huang Wei-ming (黃偉鳴) said, adding that the figure dropped to nearly 45 percent in 2016.

Less than 19 percent of the nation’s power was generated from gas-fired sources in 2007, but the ratio grew to about 32 percent in 2016, leading to the gradual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, Huang said.

The agency last year proposed its first-stage plan for cutting emissions, department Director-General Yuan Shao-ying (袁紹英) said.

The agency aims to cut 2 percent of the 2005 emissions by 2020 and 20 percent by 2030, Yuan said.

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