Legislators call for climate action law, net zero emissions by 2050

02/25/2021 12:31 PM
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Hung Sun-han (left). CNA photo Feb. 24, 2021
Hung Sun-han (left). CNA photo Feb. 24, 2021

Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) Legislators from three political parties, including the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), called on Wednesday for the creation of a climate action law.

Over a dozen members of the DPP, the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) and the New Power Party (NPP) expressed their support for the law at a press conference held at the Legislative Yuan.

DPP Legislator Hung Sun-han (洪申翰) said that he submitted a draft of a climate action law last December that included achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and setting up a climate change coordination post at the Executive Yuan.

Net zero emissions means that Taiwan will remove the same amount of human-caused greenhouse gasses it produces through reduction measures.

The Legislative Yuan has not begun to discuss the law, however, as it typically waits for the executive branch to propose its own version of the same bill before beginning such discussions.

According to Hung, the Environmental Protection Administration under the Executive Yuan has already proposed its draft of a climate action law, but it will have to go through a lengthy administrative procedure before it can be sent to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation.

This process is expected to take months, Hung said, as he urged the Executive Yuan to speed up the process.

Both Japan and South Korea have created industry-oriented action plans to combat climate change and Taiwan should do the same as soon as possible, he said.

Also present at the press conference was Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), a DPP legislator and deputy speaker of the Legislative Yuan.

Tsai said that climate change is not just an environmental issue but also an economic one, as Taiwanese companies may be unable to secure overseas orders in the future if they fail to adopt sustainable measures.

The economy and the environment should no longer be regarded as two opposing forces but instead should be seen as an intertwined whole, Tsai said.

Also at the press conference, TPP Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) said that lawmakers from all parties should work to create a workable long-term climate change plan.

Legislator Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) of the DPP said that Taiwan's current law related to climate change -- the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act -- is not sufficiently ambitious in its goals, which is why there is an urgent need to set up a climate action law.

The current act aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to no more than 50 percent of those emitted in 2005 by 2050, which does not come close to the goal of zero net emissions by 2050, Lai said.

(By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Chiang Yi-ching)

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