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Taiwan environment minister lands in Dubai for COP28

12/06/2023 10:12 PM
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Minister of Environment Shieu Fuh-sheng stands next to a Taiwan's campaign stand at COP28 in Dubai Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023
Minister of Environment Shieu Fuh-sheng stands next to a Taiwan's campaign stand at COP28 in Dubai Wednesday. CNA photo Dec. 6, 2023

Taipei and Dubai, Dec. 6 (CNA) Minister of Environment Shieu Fuh-sheng (薛富盛) has arrived in Dubai for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), the Ministry of Environment announced Wednesday.

The minister and other government officials have arrived in Dubai for the two-week COP28 meeting that began last week, the MOE stated in a press release on Wednesday, adding that although Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, it has participated in meetings through NGOs and research institutions.

On Dec. 2, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) co-hosted a side event titled, "Enhancing Ambitions with International Cooperation towards a Success 2050 Net-Zero Transformation" with the Marshall Islands; on Dec. 4, the Taiwan Research Institute (TRI) co-organized another side event, "Cross-level governance and solutions for Global Net-Zero Transition," with Belize; and "Building climate-resilient agri-food systems in vulnerable countries with Indigenous knowledge" was held on Dec. 6 by Palau and Taiwan's Mom Loves Taiwan Association.

Taiwan will show to international partners "our promise to reach climate goals with meaningful contributions and showcase our resolution to pursue efforts to limit the average global temperature rise [from pre-industrial levels] to 1.5°C," the ministry cited the minister as saying.

Shieu told CNA in Dubai that Taiwan has recently made several achievements to meet climate change challenges, including the country's net-zero goal in the Climate Change Response Act passed earlier this year, which shows "Taiwan's determination to reach net-zero."

When asked whether Taiwan should set more ambitious targets after this year's COP began with calls for accelerated action to combat the escalating climate crisis, Shieu said considering that nearly 120 countries had announced a commitment to work together to triple the world's installed renewable energy generation capacity at COP28, "Taiwan's roadmap for 2050 net-zero goal is on track."

"Taiwan's renewable energy capacity has hit 10 percent of its total this year, and the goal for 2050 is 30 percent," which aligns with COP28 targets, Shieu explained.

Dec. 3: 4 ally leaders call for Taiwan's inclusion in COP28

In March 2022, the current administration officially published "Taiwan's Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions in 2050," providing the action pathway to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 by promoting technology R&D and innovation to help industry undergo a green transition, according to the National Development Council.

Regarding Taiwan's decarbonization effort, the minister said he is optimistic because "technologies will continue advancing," and because the government's plan employs a wide range of renewable energy, such as geothermal energy, biomass, marine energy, and hydrogen.

Academia Sinica and the Taiwan Power Company have also recently developed a new technological option that can remove the carbon in natural gas and only burn the hydrogen to create zero-carbon electricity, he added.

The minister also brought up the declaration made by more than 20 countries to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050.

Taiwan will have to overcome three challenges before it continues developing nuclear energy, which are safety issues, the handling of the nuclear waste, and how to reach a consensus on where to store the waste, Shieu said, adding "When you can't solve the problem [of where to place the waste], nuclear power is a pseudo-issue."

(By Tien Hsi-ju and Alison Hsiao)

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