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British office launches 'greener life' campaign on Earth Day

2016/04/22 19:50:20

Chris Wood, head of the British Office (left) and Taiwan's Environmental Protection Minister Wei Kuo-yen.

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) The British Office in Taiwan launched a new campaign on Earth Day Friday to promote a greener lifestyle, calling for support for environmental protection and sustainability.

Called "Green is Great," the campaign "is linked to the environment, sustainability, climate change and business," said Chris Wood, head of the British Office, which represents British interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.

In partnership with Taiwanese authorities, the campaign will include a series of events to be held in Taiwan in the coming months, he said at a news conference.

With the passage of the Climate Change Act 2008, the United Kingdom was the first country in the world to adopt statutory emission reduction targets, which require the government to reduce emissions by 80 percent of the 1990 level by 2050, he said.

The U.K. has since shared its experience and expertise with other partners, including Taiwan, he said, and praised Taiwan for passing its Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act just last June.

Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥), head of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration, said at the press conference that Taiwan and the U.K. have much in common, with some regulations in Taiwan's greenhouse gas reduction act quite similar to those in Britain's climate change act.

He also expressed hope for further cooperation with the U.K. on environmental protection and sustainability.

The first major event in the "Green is Great" campaign will be a U.K.-Taiwan offshore wind power conference to be held in Taipei on May 30. British experts in the field will be on hand to share their experience in helping Taiwan develop offshore wind farms, Wood said.

In June, a group of British experts will visit Taiwan to present the U.K.'s latest research on carbon capture and storage during meetings with their Taiwanese counterparts, he said.

Other activities include a workshop on corporate social responsibility on climate change in September and a U.K.-Taiwan nuclear workshop in November, he said.

The U.K. is in the process of decommissioning 19 nuclear power plants, and six U.K. nuclear decommissioning experts will visit Taiwan to share their experience at the November workshop, Wood said.

Also in November, a British sustainable railway mission will visit Taiwan to discuss sustainable railway solutions, asset management and maintenance equipment, he said.

The U.K. is "at the forefront of building a bigger, safer and more reliable rail system to encourage people to use public transport in their daily lives and to build up a sustainable lifestyle," Wood said.

The importance of green infrastructure development is increasingly recognized in the U.K., and its main components range from climate adaptation, sustainable energy production and better air quality to less heat stress, more biodiversity, food production, clean water and healthy soil, Wood said.

"Climate change is not just a threat to the environment, but also a threat to global security and to economic prosperity," he said, explaining that the U.K. has been working to reduce its overall carbon footprint and is reaping the benefits for its environment and economy.

"I'm confident that Taiwan too will reap the benefits of green growth and green life," he said, while calling for further cooperation with Taiwan in the field.

Friday's event came as global leaders were preparing to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change at United Nations headquarters in New York later Friday.

More than 160 countries are expected to sign the agreement, designed to put the world on course for strong and decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions rapidly and build a sustainable future.

(By Elaine Hou)