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New minister of environment to roll out carbon pricing roadmap

04/19/2024 07:12 PM
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Premier-designate Cho Jung-tai (left) shakes hands with newly named Minister of Environment Peng Chi-ming at a press event in Taipei Friday. CNA photo April 19, 2024
Premier-designate Cho Jung-tai (left) shakes hands with newly named Minister of Environment Peng Chi-ming at a press event in Taipei Friday. CNA photo April 19, 2024

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) Meteorologist Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明), who has been tapped as the new minister of environment, said he will accelerate Taiwan's net-zero transition and roll out a clear carbon pricing road map to help implement President-elect Lai Ching-te's (賴清德) green growth strategy.

Peng was one of the five new Cabinet members announced by Premier-designate Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) at a news conference Friday, the other four being Chiu Tai-yuan (邱泰源), appointed as health minister; Minister of Labor-to-be Ho Pei-shan (何佩珊); future Hakka Affairs Council head Ku Hsiu-fei (古秀妃); and Tseng Chih-yung (曾智勇), who is to lead the Council of Indigenous Peoples.

In response to reporters' questions, Peng stressed that his expertise lies not only in weather forecasting as he has also dedicated his professional time to climate change and net-zero actions and attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) 11 times.

He also revealed that Lai was behind his effort to push for the establishment of the Taiwan Climate Partnership, a platform with the mission to advocate and practice net-zero actions among enterprises in response to the demands of international clients and to raise awareness of climate change.

The partnership was founded in 2021 by eight leading tech companies in Taiwan -- AUO, Delta Electronics, TSMC, Microsoft Taiwan, LITEON, Acer, Asus and Pegatron.

Asked about the issue of carbon fees, the rate of which is still under discussion, Peng said he is aware of the dispute between industry and social groups, vowing to continue the ministry's job in facilitating communication.

It is important for Taiwan to "have a carbon fee roadmap to let all parties know that decarbonization is a necessary transition and should not be considered a burden," he added.

Meanwhile, on the question of the proportion of female appointees in the new Cabinet, Cho said Taiwan boasts numerous outstanding talented women and that "efforts will continue to be made" to recruit more to the Cabinet.

Following Friday's announcement, four out of 20 Cabinet heads revealed to date are women, which falls short of the promise made by Lai, who said during his presidential campaign last year that he would aim for at least one-third of his Cabinet being female.

April 18: Taiwan eyes 50% female representation in parliament: VP-elect

When asked how he plans to maintain the financial sustainability of the National Health Insurance system, Chiu did not directly address the question, saying only that the government would take "various approaches" to allocate funding to the system.

However, Chiu revealed that he had just returned to Taiwan from South Korea, where he attended a meeting of the World Medical Association (WMA), during which a delegation from China again protested the WMA's support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization.

The main reason the WMA supports Taiwan is because it has performed so well in terms of providing universal health coverage through the National Health Insurance system, he said.

(By Alison Hsiao, Teng Pei-ju and Elaine Hou)


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