Sat, Sep 21, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Students call for concrete action on climate change

JANUARY ELECTIONS:A young environmental advocate urged people to vote for candidates who pay more attention to action on climate issues

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Lin Chia-yen, deputy director of the Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition’s Nationally Determined Contributions working group, delivers the keynote speech at the EU-Taiwan Forum on Youth Engagement in Climate Action yesterday in Taipei.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Taiwanese and European students yesterday gathered at a forum in Taipei to call for more bottom-up actions to mitigate climate change effects, as the EU Climate Action Week commenced.

The EU has proven that promoting a transition toward a lower-carbon economy can spur economic growth and create job opportunities, European Economic and Trade Office Director Filip Grzegorzewski said at the opening of the EU-Taiwan Forum on Youth Engagement in Climate Action at National Taiwan University.

For example, the EU reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent and saw GDP jump 58 percent from 1990 to 2017, he said.

The climate action week is taking place across the world until Oct. 6, with more than 140 EU delegations promoting related campaigns with their local partners.

Sharing her own experience of joining climate action, Imperial College London medical student Fatima Ali highlighted the need to identify one’s own passion within the broad area of the climate issue.

Ali is also the UN Humanitarian Affairs youth peace ambassador to the UK, the British Office Taipei said.

While instilling resilience in public infrastructure is critical, it is also important to instill resilience in one’s own community, she said, encouraging young people to voice their ideas, or join or start campaigns.

“Ten years later, what kind of environment will you be in?” is a question that young people should ponder over, said Lin Chia-yen (林佳諺), deputy director of the Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition’s Nationally Determined Contributions working group.

To live in a better environment, people should push their government to adopt better policies and manage climate change risks, she said.

The government should prioritize the development of technologies that can meet these challenges, she said.

With Taiwan holding its presidential election in January, young people should support candidates who pay more attention to climate action, she said, expressing the hope that a more effective mechanism for dialogue between the public and private sectors would be set up.

To achieve a lower or even zero-carbon society, Taiwan needs a “climate change act” to improve management of greenhouse gas emissions by different sectors, said Wang Po-kuan (王寶貫), director of Academia Sinica’s Research Center for Environmental Changes, adding that the UK has a good legal framework that can serve as a model.

KPMG in Taiwan sustainability officer Huang Cheng-chung (黃正忠) said that promoting a low-carbon economy is a “must-do” for the nation’s industrial development, as well as a necessary condition to attract more foreign investment, encouraging young people to address issues highlighted in the meetings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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