The government must quickly reach a consensus on legislative amendments addressing climate change, environmental groups said yesterday after the legislature on Thursday discussed more than 20 proposed changes.
Six committees were debating proposed amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (溫室氣體減量及管理法), which would set a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 among other climate-related provisions.
While the committees agreed on the 2050 goal, disagreements remained on more than 20 proposals regarding how it could be achieved.
Photo: Lo Chi, Taipei Times
Environmental groups yesterday issued a joint statement that included six recommendations.
The Environmental Rights Foundation, the Green Citizens’ Action Alliance, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan, the Taiwan Environment and Planning Association, the Homemakers United Foundation and the Environmental Justice Foundation said that advancing the proposals to committee discussion does not mean that Taiwan has the capacity to face risks posed by climate change.
The rules should include provisions to increase the level of climate governance and grant equivalent authority to oversight agencies, the groups said.
The implementation targets for a proposed carbon fee should be improved, as should management mechanisms, to ensure efficacy and to allow room for it to eventually become a carbon tax, they said.
The amendments should prioritize adaptive strategies for communities as changes occur, given the effects of climate change on human rights, the groups said.
Local governance, transparency and public participation must be improved to leave no one behind, while also including provisions allowing public litigation, the groups said.
There needs to be a significant push for sources of renewable energy, as nuclear power is not an option in Taiwan, they said.
Many legislators at Thursday’s meeting took issue with a lack of interim goals leading up to 2050, but the groups said that they were unsure the proposals would be approved even if only short-term goals were involved.
The groups said that the legislature has agreed to continue negotiations over their six proposals, but no concrete progress has been made.
The public is unable to evaluate the government’s climate action while the changes are being deliberated, they said, calling on the Cabinet and the legislature to spend the next three months communicating with stakeholders about the provisions and pass the amendments before the UN Climate Change Conference in November.
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