The greenhouse gas reduction law may not have received the green light before the Legislative Yuan review session ended, but the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) demonstrated its determination to lead the nation on the road to a low carbon economy with the opening of its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Management Office yesterday.
The opening ceremony was attended by leaders of several heavy-emission companies -- Taiwan Power Co (Taipower,
LIFE AND DEATH
"Carbon emissions reduction is a task that we will regret not doing in the future if we do not start today," EPA Minister Winston Dang (陳重信) said at the ceremony. "Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is presenting the human race with a problem bigger than environmental protection -- it is now a matter of life and death."
The office has been established to provide a focus point for all greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, including strategic evaluations, the planning, quantification and registration of all carbon emitting businesses and to foster international collaboration, EPA Bureau of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Director-General Hsiao Hui-chuan (蕭慧娟) said.
Fifty-four businesses that produce heavy emissions, including power plants and steel factories, have voluntarily completed their registration, Hsiao said.
FPG, however, has yet to complete its registration.
Using the EU as an example, Hsiao said: "Once the greenhouse gas reduction law is passed by the new legislative body, such registration would provide the businesses with the means to trade carbon emissions in a way similar to the international market."
The international trading price for carbon emissions is from US$1 per tonne to as much as US$30 per tonne on some European markets, she said.
"We expect the price in Taiwan to be on the high side," she said.
The EPA is still pushing for the greenhouse gas reduction law and will do so when the new legislative body convenes, she said, adding that once the law is passed, registration would be mandated and trading could start.
Regardless of the law, Dang urged Taiwanese to make environmental protection part of their lifestyle.
"When I visited Tuvalu with President Chen last October, I saw that land on which children were playing five years ago is now flooded. It is under the ocean because of climate change," he said. "Instead of greeting each other with `Have you eaten yet?' as Taiwanese traditionally do, we should ask `Have you made an effort to protect the environment?'"
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