What you need to know
French media, Le Figaro, reported on Taiwan with great details, pointing out that although the island accounts for 1% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and has brought up a goal for its reduction, the country is still blocked out of COP21 due to sensitive political issues.
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On November 30, world leaders met in Paris to attend the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, also known as COP21, to discuss global warming solutions. French media, Le Figaro, reported on Taiwan with great details, pointing out that although the island accounts for 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and has brought up a goal for its reduction, the country is still blocked out of COP21 due to sensitive political issues.
CNA reports that on November 30, The Hill published Taiwan’s Minister of Environmental Protection Administration Wei Kuo-yen’s article, noting that Taiwan enacted the greenhouse gas reduction and management act on July 1. The act legitimately authorizes the government to respond to climate change as the legal basis for Taiwan to mitigate the influence of climate change and adapt to the climate policies.
Wei said that Taiwan promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emission, and the short-term goal is to reduce 50% according to the current status of the development trend by 2030, which equals to 20% less of the emission in 2005. Eventually the goal is to reduce 50% of the amount of emission in 2005 by 2050.
Wei believes that Taiwan’s positive attitude towards the commitment of greenhouse gas reduction not only highlights the people’s obligations as a global citizen, but is also the necessary step to take in fighting for substantive participation to be included in the operation of the new agreement.
NOWnews reports, Le Figaro published a full-page report on Taiwan tilted, “Taiwan, the Forgotten One in the Climate Negotiation." In the report, it stressed that Taiwan’s greenhouse gas emissions account for 1% of the world, which is only a little less than France.
SET reports, Le Figaro reported that droughts and storms are becoming more frequent in Taiwan in recent years, and the influence of climate change is a conspicuous threat to the Taiwanese.
Right now, 90% of Taiwan’s energy demand relies on fossil fuels and 8% on nuclear energy. The development of renewable energy will be a great opportunity to reduce the country’s dependence on imports. Therefore, Taiwan launched two plans to promote solar and wind energy.
Liberty Times reports, however, even if these two plans were carried out, they would not be enough to replace the three nuclear power plants. The report also quoted Weng Su-zhen, chief in the Bureau of Energy, saying that to achieve the target amount of emission reduction, reducing energy consumption is necessary, such as using LED lights or imposing restrictions on air-conditioning.
The coverage also interviewed the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who thinks that Taiwan’s goal is challenging, but feasible. He also pointed out that Taiwan has great room for improvement, especially regarding energy efficiency.
However, the coverage also noted that Taiwan’s sensitive political stance has prevented the country from participating in the climate summit, making its regulations on greenhouse gas emissions practically nominal. At the end of the article, it says that Taiwan also lacks the funds for carbon emissions like other countries, which hinders the research and development of green technology.
Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang