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Taiwan's emissions trading platform set to be completed soon: EPA

2010/12/28 23:12:12

Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) Taiwan's first government-recognized carbonemissions trading platform is slowly becoming a reality, theEnvironment Protection Administration (EPA) said Tuesday, although itdid not give a definite timetable.

EPA Minister Stephen Shen said carbon trading is becoming aglobal trend, as the international community is seeking various waysto reduce greenhouse gases.

As an industrial country, Taiwan must not be absent from thismovement, he said.

Emissions trading is a mechanism to encourage companies orcountries to go green by using economic incentives. Also known as"cap and trade," under the scheme, participants are allowed a certainquota of emissions. When a big polluter maxes out on its allottedlevel, it can purchase the unused quota from another firm.

According to the EPA, the establishment of a domestic carbontrading platform will be divided into three phases but so far, onlyphase one has been completed, with the next phase estimated to becompleted only after December next year.

Phase one includes an online registry through which the buyer andthe vendor can find out more information about each other. The secondphase will allow the registered companies to bid on allotted quotas.

The third phase will allow participants to buy quotas beforehandif it foresees the need for a bigger allotment in the future, saidShen.

The EPA said the platform will contain information on theemission levels of over 300 domestic factories and plants. It willalso be the second platform of its kind to be established in Asiafollowing one in Japan.

Earlier that same day, six car makers, including BMW, Ford, HondaTaiwan, China Motor Corp., Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz signed anagreement with the EPA promising to import low-emission cars fordomestic consumers.

The goal of the agreement is to cut the country's carbon dioxideemissions by 10 percent to 15 percent by 2015.

Premier Wu Den-yih recently applauded the country's carbonreduction efforts, saying that overall, Taiwan emitted 5.14 millionmetric tons of greenhouse gases less than last year.

Taiwan is not a signatory to the Kyoto Pact, a bindinginternational agreement under the United Nations to fight climatechange, but despite this, the government earlier this year set a goalof cutting back carbon emissions by 84 million metric tons by 2020.It is hoped that in 10 years, the country's emissions will be thesame as 2005 levels.

(By Jenny W. Hsu)