Taiwanese scientist 311.
(photo credit: Lawrence Rifklin)
Global warming is a danger to sustainable development and the survival of Homo sapiens and other species on planet Earth. Countries the world over –
including Taiwan, the Republic of China – have come to regard it as a prime
threat to national security.
Indeed, as an island country in the Pacific
Ocean, the Republic of China on Taiwan is imperiled by rising sea levels and the
ravages of extreme weather. The devastation left in the wake of Typhoon Morakot
in August 2009 is a prime example: that storm triggered massive landslides and
flooding that claimed hundreds of lives and caused huge amounts of property
damage. Consequently, Taiwan is striving to develop and implement strategies to
ensure our common wellbeing.
Despite the exclusion of Taiwan from forums
like the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC ) for complex historical reasons, the government of
Taiwan has taken action to halt global warming and usher in a “Green New Deal”
for the nation and for the world by cutting energy consumption and reducing
carbon emissions. Our solar energy sector has achieved significant global market
presence and displayed impressive innovation.
The government continues to
encourage the development of renewable energy via
legislation. Furthermore, in line with the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, our
government in 2010 declared to the UNFCCC Secretariat that by 2020, we would cut
our “business-as-usual” level of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent
– a sharper reduction than has been pledged by other countries.
pursuit of that goal, our government’s Master Plan for Energy Conservation and
Carbon Mitigation calls for concrete “nationally appropriate mitigation actions”
in the energy, industrial, transportation, construction, residential and
commercial sectors. In preparation for implementing programs for reduction of
greenhouse gas emissions, our Environmental Protection Administration is putting
in place mechanisms to ensure that our actions and their results are measurable,
reportable and verifiable in accordance with UNFCCC requirements.
spirit of reinforcing accountability, our government is also drafting a
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and an Energy Tax Act. Together with existing
legislation, these measures will serve as an effective regulatory foundation for
boosting energy efficiency across the board, expanding our renewable energy
generation capacity, empowering our citizens to take the initiative in adopting
green lifestyles, creating new employment opportunities based on green products
and services and reinvigorating our industries.
As a major pillar of
President Ma Ying-jeou’s vision of a “golden decade” of sustainable national
development and environmental preservation, he has pledged to forcefully pursue
multipronged strategies to achieve the above-stated goals. From the president on
down, energy conservation and carbon mitigation have become much more than
slogans for Taiwan’s people. For us, the creation of a low-carbon society and
caring for our natural environment have become the basis of a “new life
Taiwan deeply cares about global warming and the dangers it
poses to life on Earth. But collective problems demand collective solutions. To
deal effectively with the most serious challenge of the century – climate change
– Taiwan needs to participate in activities of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties.
Against the odds, our country has proven that it has both the incentives and the
means to combat climate change, for the benefit of our 23 million citizens and
the entire world.
We call on the UNFCCC to consider Taiwan’s
participation in the organization’s meetings and committees. We are hopeful that
our global partners will affirm this reality and make Taiwan part of the
solution to climate change. In return, we are committed to sharing our insights,
experiences and resources with all in quest of planetwide security and