Campaigners say climate action strategies needed

By Lo Chi  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Sep 23, 2019 - Page 3

Environmental group Greenpeace yesterday called for increased awareness of climate change and urged presidential candidates to offer policy plans to address the crisis.

The campaign — inspired by 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg — yesterday drew a large crowd in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町), where a 250cm-high ice sculpture symbolic of melting polar ice caps was on display.

One of the campaigners, high-school student Huang Po-sheng (黃柏盛), said that he had been impressed by the global school strikes demanding action on climate change.

By joining the campaign, he hopes to help increase awareness of the climate crisis and “at least delay an environmental apocalypse,” he said.

National Yang-Ming University student Lin Yi-chen (林怡蓁) urged the nation’s presidential candidates to propose concrete plans for addressing climate change.

“The climate crisis is not just a catchphrase,” but a possible future for every person, especially those of the younger generation, she said.

German nationals Ramona Schulz and Daniel Bahm, who came across the campaign while visiting Taipei, said they were happy to find the event and that they hope that more Taiwanese will join the global effort to fight climate change.

If Taiwan cannot effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rising sea levels will by 2050 affect 1.2 million people living across 1,398km2 of the nation, Greenpeace energy director Tang An (唐安) said.

The southwest of Taiwan would suffer the most serious damage, with flooding expected to be the worst in Tainan, Tang said.

The nation must take a bold role in the global fight against the crisis, as Taiwan is expected to one of the first nations to face some of the worst consequences, such as rising sea levels, extreme heat, drought and flooding, Tang said.

Under the 2014 Paris agreement, countries must limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C to curb the effects and risks of climate change.

However, according to the latest report by Greenpeace, global warming has been aggravated over the past 100 years and could continue to worsen.

In the worst of the high-emission scenarios, frequently referred to as “RCP8.5” or “business as usual,” Taiwan could see an increase of 3°C, not 1.5°C, the report said.