DPP lawmakers propose 2050 target for carbon neutrality

09/24/2020 08:29 PM
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Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) A group of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators put forth a proposal Thursday for the government to set greenhouse gas emission targets that would allow Taiwan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

At a press conference at the Legislative Yuan, the five lawmakers of the ruling party said the idea was to adopt a four-part environmental strategy that would set a 2050 target for carbon neutrality, draft a "Green New Deal" for Taiwan, amend the existing laws to create a wide-ranging Climate Change Act, and broaden social engagement on the issue of climate change.

Noting that several countries in Europe and Asia have pledged to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, Legislator Hung Sun-han (洪申翰) said this would bring about global economic transformation.

To facilitate its participation in that movement, Taiwan should amend its Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act to include the carbon reduction targets and rename the law the "Climate Change Act," Hung suggested.

More broadly, the government should make it clear that the fight against climate change is not only for social elites and scientists but for all sectors of society, he said.

Wu Li-hua (伍麗華), one of three lawmakers representing Taiwan's highland indigenous community, said climate change affects human rights.

In highland indigenous areas, the number of destructive landslides has been increasing due to torrential rains caused by high temperatures, while construction and delivery workers in urban areas are facing greater health risks because of the heat island effect, she said.

In terms of economics, Legislator Chuang Ching-cheng (莊競程) noted that the European Union plans to introduce a carbon border tax in 2023, which he said would level the carbon emissions tax on imported and locally produced goods and may have major implications for Taiwan's export-based economy.

Meanwhile, Legislator Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧) noted that Google and Apple have both pledged to have carbon neutral supply chains by 2030, and she warned that Taiwanese businesses must not be left behind in the coming "green" economic transformation.

Legislator Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤), for her part, said climate change is already having an impact on her constituency.

For instance, she said, the Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei occasionally has to reduce capacity because of the rising temperatures of seawater, which is used to cool its reactors.

Taiwan's Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act currently sets a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent of their 2005 level by 2050, but it does not have a target date for achieving carbon neutrality.

(By Lin Yu-hsuan and Matthew Mazzetta)

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