Fri, Nov 29, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet officials to attend events on sidelines of COP25

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

The Cabinet is to send officials to side events held by allies and like-minded nations at the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid next week, as Taiwan is barred from the official meetings, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said on Wednesday.

After Chile in October pulled out from hosting APEC and COP25 summits this year, the Spanish capital offered to host the climate talks, which are to begin on Monday next week and run through Dec. 13.

As usual, the government is to send a delegation to introduce Taiwan’s determination and achievements in combating climate change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement on Tuesday.

As Taiwan is not a conference member, it cannot join official events, EPA Department of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Substances Management Director-General Tsai Ling-yi (蔡玲儀) said on Wednesday.

Taiwan regrets being excluded from the talks, as it has made great efforts to curb carbon emissions, Tsai said.

The nation’s carbon dioxide emissions produced by fuel combustion increased by an annual average of only 0.1 percent from 2005 to 2016, much lower than China’s 4.8 percent, South Korea’s 2.3 percent and Singapore’s 1.6 percent, she said, citing data from the International Energy Agency.

Promoting the nation’s efforts to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals would be another focus, especially after the EPA in 2017 has published its first voluntary national review of its efforts toward contributing to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, she said.

Despite being denied access to the official events, the government would participate in events on the sidelines in Madrid held by diplomatic allies and like-minded countries to tout Taiwan’s climate actions and discuss collaboration areas, she said.

Asked who would be the highest-ranking official in the delegation, Tsai said Cabinet members were discussing its makeup and the EPA is tasked with coordinating such matters.

Former EPA minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) in November 2017 led a delegation hoping to join the COP23 in Bonn, Germany, but was barred from the summit.

Asked if the EPA would try again this year, Tsai said that the agency was working on arrangements, but did not elaborate.

The Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition, a non-governmental organization that regularly sends members to the annual event, has sent six members to Madrid, it said.

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