The Kaohsiung City Government vowed yesterday to cut the city’s carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said that although the city government and residents had joined hands to improve the environment over the years, the city’s annual greenhouse gas emission per capita still topped the nation at 22 tonnes — much higher than the nation’s average emission per capita of 10 tonnes.
“But this is not the fault of Kaohsiung residents. This happened because the central government favored northern Taiwan over southern Taiwan for many years and made Kaohsiung a base of manufacturing and energy supply,” she said.
“We should change the situation today,” Chen said, adding that she had asked the city’s Education Bureau and school principals and teachers to develop a series of courses aimed at raising students’ awareness about reducing carbon emissions in their daily life.
Chen said she hoped the utilization rate of the city’s mass transportation system would reach 30 percent by 2020 while the city’s carbon emission would have dropped by 30 percent by that time.
She urged local business leaders to take the initiative to cut their firms’ carbon emissions.
“Otherwise, global warming may cause an unemployment problem for the city in 10 years,” she said.
Chen’s call came after she watched the environmental protection documentary ±2˚ (正負2度C), with environmentalists and the film’s producers at the World Games Stadium on Friday night.
Chen said the documentary was the first of its kind to discuss the issue of climate change from Taiwan’s perspective.