President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday reiterated the nation’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, adding that a series of enforcement rules would soon be added to the Climate Change Response Act (氣候變遷因應法).
Tsai made the remarks when meeting with representatives of environmental protection groups at a National Environmental Conference yesterday afternoon, adding that her government would continue to bolster the resilience of the power grid and install more energy storage facilities to ensure power supply stability.
Tsai said that the Legislative Yuan this session has passed many important bills and amendments related to environmental sustainability, including the Mining Act (礦業法), the Marine Pollution Control Act (海洋污染防治法) and the Marine Industry Development Regulations (海洋產業發展條例).
Photo: screen shot from a Presidential Office video
The controversial “overlord clause” in the Mining Act was removed following six years of deliberation, and the management and control of the mining industry has been comprehensively improved, she said.
Local residents and indigenous people also have a mechanism to manage the areas where mining takes place, she said.
“The Marine Pollution Control Act and the newly formulated Marine Industry Development Regulations strengthen the mechanisms for dealing with marine pollution,” Tsai said.
In addition to passing the Climate Change Response Act at the beginning of this year, the government also proposed a path toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Tsai said, adding that enforcement rules would be proposed.
Carbon trading, incremental offsets and voluntary reductions are the government’s three-pronged approach to achieve the goal of net zero emissions, she said, adding that a carbon exchange is to be established in the second half of the year.
Taiwan has also made progress in the use of renewable energy, Tsai said.
Last year, the installations of wind power and photovoltaics both hit single-year highs, generating 14 terawatt-hours, five times that of 2016, she said.
Meanwhile, power generated via renewable energy also surpassed that created by nuclear power plants for the first time, she added.
“With the passage of the amendment to the Renewable Energy Development Act (再生能源發展條例), a more eco-friendly environment would be created through the development of renewable energy, including geothermal power generation and other emerging energy sources,” Tsai said.
By 2030, new power plants, after excluding renewable energy and deducting the net increase of decommissioned units, would generate 9.1 gigawatt-hours, she said, adding that the increase would be close to three times the energy generated by the first and second nuclear power plants combined.
“The certification mechanism and standards for ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ is a topic advocated by many environmentalists at the conference this year and the government hopes to incorporate such an international trend into its policies,” Tsai said.
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