Environmentalists are planning a public march and rally in Taipei on Saturday next week to raise awareness of how air pollution can harm coral reefs, organizers said.
The protesters are to gather on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building and march past the Legislative Yuan and the headquarters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, calling for a reduction in the use of coal-fired power plants and protection of coral reefs, representatives of several environmental groups organizing the event said.
The participants are also to urge the government to pay greater attention to the effects of carbon emissions on the environment and human health, Action Coalition for Healthy Air in Taiwan head Yeh Guang-perng (葉光芃) said.
The most effective way to improve air quality is to reduce coal-fired power generation, Yeh said, adding that the government’s energy policy is outdated, as it relies heavily on fossil fuels.
A government plan to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on reclaimed land at an industrial park next to coastal algal reefs in the Datan (大潭) area of Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) is evidence that the policy is outdated, he said.
The event is to call for the closure of coal-fired power plants, the protection of coral reefs and the adoption of a green energy policy, Yeh said.
Meanwhile, Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政), head of an action alliance that advocates protection of the Datan reefs, said the feature is a unique ecosystem and has the potential to be named a world natural heritage site.
However, the government’s plan to build the LNG terminal in the area poses a threat to the ecosystem, Pan said, adding that he and other environmentalists would take to the streets to call on the government to protect them.
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