Nation closes in on emissions goals

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Sep 06, 2013 - Page 4

Taiwan was close to meeting the carbon dioxide reduction target of cutting emissions to the level they were at in 2005 by 2020, showing that the steps the government has taken over the years to control emissions have had some success, Bureau of Energy Director-General Jerry Ou (歐嘉瑞) said yesterday.

Taiwan’s annual carbon emissions, totaled 248.7 million tonnes last year, close to the emission level of 245.2 million tonnes in 2005, Ou told a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting.

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has committed itself to the targets of cutting annual carbon emissions to 2005 levels by 2020 and then to 216 million metric tonnes, a level last seen in 2000, by 2025.

Ou presented a briefing on the effectiveness of the implementation of energy conservation and emission reduction measures at the Cabinet meeting.

Both the trajectory of carbon dioxide volumes and the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in the past five years have showed that the government’s policy to mitigate carbon emissions has proved to be effective, he said.

Although the annual volume of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in 2010 and 2011 both increased when the economy improved, compared with 2008 and 2009 when the economy slowed, the annual carbon emissions have declined at an average rate of 0.6 percent in the five years from 2008 to 2012, Ou said.

The emission reduction during the period was in sharp contrast with the average annual growth rate of 2.7 percent between 2004 and 2007, he said.

The intensity of carbon emissions per unit of GDP decreased at an average rate of 3.4 percent from 2008 to 2012, a faster pace than the average annual reduction rate of 2.8 percent from 2004 to 2007, Ou said.

Regarding energy conservation, the Ma administration in 2008 vowed to improve energy efficiency by more than 2 percent per year, to make energy intensity decrease by 20 percent or more by 2015 compared with 2005 levels, and to make energy intensity decrease by 50 percent or more by means of technological breakthroughs and supporting measures.

Taiwan has seen significant improvements in energy efficiency and energy conservation in the past five years, Ou said.