Nation’s greenhouse gas emissions cuts behind schedule

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - Page 3

The government on Wednesday set a target of reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions to 260.717 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, which is 2 percent lower than the 2005 level.

To demonstrate its determination to reduce carbon emissions, Taiwan in June 2015 passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (溫室氣體減量及管理法), setting a target of cutting carbon emissions to 80 percent of the nation’s total carbon emissions in 2005, a base year for the long-term effort, by 2030.

According to the framework, the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions would be just half of the 2005 total by 2050.

The nation is behind on the timeline for 2020 partly because the three nuclear reactors at the nation’s first and second nuclear power plants are not in operation, Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Chan Shun-kuei (詹順貴) told reporters on Wednesday.

The slack is taken up by coal-fired and natural gas-fired power generators, which produce higher greenhouse gas emissions, as not enough clean, green energy is being produced to fill the gap, Chan said.

Under the greenhouse gas act, Taiwan’s greenhouse gas output should be 10 percent lower than the 2005 level by 2025 and 20 percent lower by 2030.

The rate at which greenhouse gas emissions are cut should pick up in the period between 2021 and 2025, and emissions cuts should gain momentum from 2025 to 2030, as more renewable energy plants come online, making Taiwan’s 2025 and 2030 targets attainable, Chan said.

Under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration’s plan to make Taiwan a “nuclear-free homeland” by 2025, 20 percent of the island’s power would be supplied by green en