Thursday, January 10, 2008

Countermeasures for Lowering the Greenhouse Gas Emission in Taiwan

Representatives from 158 nations reached an agreement in the United Nations’ meeting about the climate change on reduction of greenhouse gas emission as the progress of negotiating Post Kyoto Protocol. According to the agreement, industrial countries are willing to reduce the greenhouse gas emission to a degree of twenty-five to forty per cent below the level of 1990’s.

When the whole world devotes to reduce the greenhouse gas emission, Taiwan, out of the reasons of justice realization and economic interest, should actively take adequate measures in lowering the emission of greenhouse gases, even under the situation of a non-member status in the (post) Kyoto Protocol. In terms of policy making, there are four dimensions to be concerned: adjustment of industry structure, better energy efficiency, reasonable utility of environmental resources, and green finance reformation. Besides, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change also suggests six policy tools on climate change:

1. Financial tools: technology innovation and development of recycled resource.

2. Market tools: emission trading.

3. Voluntary reduction: reduction made by industrial and transportation departments.

4. Control and standard setting: standard of efficiency and green mark.

5. Environmental education: information, education, and public awareness.

6. Research and development: energy efficiency, alternative energy, carbon recycling and immobilized technology.

The concrete suggestions of the future reduction of greenhouse gases in Taiwan include the elements as follows:

1. Promote green finance reformation: promoting green finance reformation can reflect the greenhouse gas emission cost that comes from petroleum consumption. The government can impose a tax on energy consumption with some supplementary measures to achieve a win-win-win result for economic development, environment protection and energy saving.

2. Better energy efficiency: the government should provide assistance for industries and factories to better production efficiency by adapting the clearest process and environmental protection technology to accelerate upgrading process.

3. Develop green energy and related industries: the government should actively sell recycling energy and low-carbon technology to fulfill low-carbon economy by practicing green production and green consumption. Besides, the government should also support the renewable energy industries at home and develop alternative renewable energy, such as bio-energy, wind energy, solar energy, hydrogen energy and fuel cells, ocean energy generation, geothermal energy and so on.

4. Effectively introduce the incentive tools for the market and promote carbon trade system: the government should promote the green trading system with adequate quantity control.

5. Push the legislation of “Renewable Energy Development Act.”

6. Push the legislation of “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Law.”

7. Fully substitute lighting equipments, air-conditioning facilities and traffic lights with the energy-saving facilities.

8. Promote the green buildings in large scale and improve the energy-saving systems of old buildings.

9. Actively help develop the industry of energy technology service.

10. Perfect the mass transportation system and encourage the public to travel with it.

11. Ensure Taiwan’s energy security by maintaining the diversity of energy resources and establish energy independence by lowering the energy import ratio.

12. Set up a transparent mechanism for reasonable energy price.

13. Set up a greenhouse gas reduction goal to respond to global climate change.

In the future, Taiwan should also take the changing international trend and Taiwan’s unique economic and social situation into consideration, so as to step by step achieve the greenhouse gas reduction to meet the greenhouse gas emission per capita standard set by the OECD.


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