Taiwan 'very poor' on climate change, but EPA says it's 'committed'

12/10/2018 11:50 PM
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Image taken from Climate Change Performance Index website (www.climate-change-performance-index.org)
Image taken from Climate Change Performance Index website (www.climate-change-performance-index.org)

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Taiwan is committed to playing its part in the global efforts to tackle climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an official with the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said on Monday, responding to a report by Germanwatch that gave Taiwan a bad performance review.

Germanwatch, a non-profit, non-governmental organization which lobbies for sustainable global development, on Monday released its Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2019, which rated Taiwan as "very poor" among the 60 countries listed in the CCPI.

Taiwan was ranked 56th, dropping two spots from 54th position last year, according to CCPI 2019.

The evaluation of the index is based on several key indicators, including emissions level, emissions development, and renewable energy.

The report found that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in Taiwan hasn't been reduced and has largely stayed flat from 2010 to 2016, the most recent year it provided statistics for.

It also criticized Taiwan for being weak in policy development and implementation.

"In the Policy category, Chinese Taipei ranks low," the group's website said. "Experts criticize the government for lack of ambition in terms of implementing its INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) and the very poor performance in domestic climate policy, leading to a very low rating in the Climate Policy category."

The top ranked countries in the 2019 CCPI were Sweden (4th), Morocco (5th) and Lithuania (6th). No nation was ranked above 4th place as no country was deemed to be making enough progress to prevent dangerous climate change, according to Germanwatch.

As for other Asian countries listed on the report, China was ranked 33rd, while Japan, Malaysia and Korea were placed in 49th, 51st and 57th place, respectively.

The two largest carbon emitters listed on the report were Saudi Arabia (60th) and the United States (59th).

Chiu Kuo-shu (邱國書), a senior official with EPA's Department of Environmental Sanitation & Toxic Substance Management, told CNA that Taiwan's greenhouse gas output should be 10 percent lower than the 2005 level by 2025 and 20 percent lower by 2030.

To demonstrate its determination to reduce carbon emissions, Taiwan passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act in June 2015, which aims to cut carbon emissions by 2050 to half the 2005 level.

He said the climate change performance index is an extremely big challenge for export-oriented countries that do not have enough energy resources of their own, he said.

Despite this, Chiu explained that the government in recent years has been committed to developing offshore wind farms as part of efforts to tackle climate change.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Ko Lin)


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