Environmental groups yesterday held a parade in Taichung, calling on the government to work harder to cut air pollution and coal use, and outline plans to achieve a carbon-neutral society.
The annual parade was headed by Air Clean Taiwan chairman Yeh Guang-perng (葉光芃) and Changhua Mayor Lin Shih-hsien (林世賢) of the Democratic Progressive Party, who dressed as “tree men” to draw attention to climate issues.
Participants gathered at a park in front of the city government’s new municipal building and marched to the Executive Yuan’s Central Taiwan Joint Services Center.
Photo: Su Chin-feng, Taipei Times
This year is the most crucial time for people to choose a future of sustainability or extinction, Lin said.
The mayor called on the government to face environmental crises by making climate action a priority and working harder to cut coal use.
The parade organizers urged the government to declare a climate emergency and promote new “green” policies; improve air pollution and cut coal use, especially in central and southern municipalities; and announce a timetable to achieve a carbon-neutral society by 2050, Yeh said.
Photo: Su Chin-feng, Taipei Times
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday said in a statement that the government agrees with the groups on reducing pollution.
Since 2018, the EPA and the Ministry of Economic Affairs have tracked pollutants emitted by coal-burning power plants and other major state-run enterprises, and have created plans to cut pollution, it said.
Increasing power generation from green energy and natural gas, and reducing the use of coal-fired power are central to the government’s policy for curtailing pollution, the EPA said.
The ratio of coal-burning power is to decline from 48 percent in 2018 to 27 percent by 2025 under the government’s plan, it said.
In Taichung, the frequency of “red” air quality alerts from monitoring stations — meaning that the air quality has reached an unhealthy level for all people — fell from 71 times in 2016 to five last year, it said.
In areas in Kaohsiung and Pingtung County, the frequency of red alerts decreased from 279 times in 2016 to 50 last year, it said.
To establish more carbon reduction tools and incentives, the EPA is preparing amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (溫室氣體減量及管理法), the EPA said.
It has also created an online “climate talks” platform to promote its pollution control efforts and gather opinions about its next actions, it added.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her