Fri, Nov 29, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Parties defend policy after Greenpeace survey

By Dennis Xie  /  Staff writer

Air pollution should not be politicized, nor attributed to a single factor, the campaign office of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday after a Greenpeace Taiwan report said that the “climate action” of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidates was “not up to standard.”

Tsai and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), KMT’s presidential candidate, laid out their climate and energy polices in a survey Greenpeace sent them last month, with their scores based on their responses and speeches they have made regarding the issue, the group told a news conference in Taipei.

People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) was not included in the assessment, because his candidacy was announced too late, it said.

Greenpeace energy director Tang An (唐安) said that candidates were judged on their goals to reduce carbon emissions, bring about energy transformation and install climate governance.

Tsai, who is seeking re-election for the DPP, was given a “C-” grade, while Han got a “D-,” the group said in a report.

For carbon reduction, the campaigns of both of the major parties failed to propose goals consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s guidelines, which state that global temperature rise should be kept at within 1.5°C of preindustrial levels, Tang said.

Little attention was paid to equity and justice for the social economy and the environment during an energy transformation, she said.

Tsai campaign spokesman Liao Tai-hsiang (廖泰翔) said that attributing air pollution to a single factor is an act of political manipulation, as a combination of causes contributes to it.

Highlighting domestic pollution sources while ignoring overseas factors, or citing power plant emissions without counting the contributions from traffic would prevent problems from being solved, Liao said.

Energy transformation and green energy development promoted by the DPP are fundamental solutions to cutting carbon emissions, he said.

Han campaign spokeswoman Huang Man-hsin (黃曼昕) said that the main principles of Han’s climate policy were legality, integrity, reform and international connections.

Before groups grade an environmental policy, a thorough review would be necessary, not an interpretation based on a fragmented analysis, Huang said.

After an increase in electricity generated from burning coal and natural gas under the DDP administration, the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions last year increased by 8 percent from the benchmark year of 2005, she said.

If elected on Jan. 11, Han would drastically lower carbon dioxide emissions by incorporating renewable and nuclear sources in the nation’s energy mix, she said.

Han will also abide by the Paris Agreement and roll out regulations on carbon inventories, labeling, trading, taxation and budgeting to catch up with global trends, she said.

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