Taipei is to designate three transportation hubs and six tourist hotspots as “Phase One Air Quality Management Zones,” with the types of vehicles allowed to enter them restricted, the Taipei Department of Environmental Protection said in a news release yesterday.
Vehicle owners and drivers failing to meet emission standards in those zones would be subject to fines from next year, the agency added.
Starting from Jan. 1 next year, large diesel vehicles would need to be certified and bear the government’s “Premium Self-management Logo,” showing that the vehicle’s emissions are in line with government standards, before they could enter the zones, it said.
Photo: Kuo An-chia, Taipei Times
Scooters failing to undergo the required regular inspections would also lose access to the zones, the agency added.
The air quality management zones would be Taipei City Hall Bus Station, Taipei Bus Station and Nangang Bus Station, as well as Yangmingshan National Park, the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine and Taipei 101, it said.
Offenders would receive verbal warnings throughout January, but from February they would face fines of NT$500 to NT$2,000, depending on their vehicle type, with a maximum fine of NT$60,000, it added.
Many cities in other countries, such as Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm and London, have implemented similar regulations to curb pollution, the agency said, citing London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone as an example.
The agency is introducing the regulations — the first in the nation — as diesel engine exhaust has been classified as being “carcinogenic to humans” by the WHO, Air Quality and Noise Control Division head Yang Mei-hua (楊梅華) said.
Regulations would first target large diesel vehicles, as the amount of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) that they generate is much higher than other vehicles, Yang said, adding that it is also the reason for targeting major bus stations and sightseeing areas frequented by such vehicles.
Small diesel vehicles would not be included in the regulations, she said, citing lower emissions and the difficulty of enforcement, as inspectors cannot distinguish diesel vehicles from gasoline vehicles.
The new policy is expected to slash PM2.5 by 27.3 tonnes per year, down 4.5 percent from current levels, the agency said.
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”
GET A BOOST: After considering the potential for local outbreaks amid an increase in cases abroad, a committee recommended adolescents receive their second shots The level 2 COVID-19 alert is to be extended until Dec. 13, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it advised people in six high-risk groups to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. It also recommended that adolescents aged 12 to 17 who had a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine receive a second shot. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the nationwide level 2 alert would remain in place for two more weeks from today. Chen said that during New Year’s events eating and drinking might be allowed in designated areas, while
‘HISTORIC’: The passage of the resolution by both chambers of the French parliament shows their concrete support for Taiwan’s global participation, the foreign ministry said The government yesterday thanked the French National Assembly for adopting a resolution on Monday in support of Taiwan’s international participation, following a similar resolution passed by the French Senate in May. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the resolution’s passage as “historic” and as demonstrating the concrete support of both chambers of the French parliament for Taiwan’s participation in international affairs. Taiwan and France have shared a long-standing partnership characterized by a high level of trust, and based on the shared values of democracy, freedom and human rights, the ministry said. Passed on Monday in a 39-2 vote with three abstentions, the non-legally