Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) Taiwan's government on Wednesday set a target of reducing the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020 to a level 2 percent lower than in 2005.
It set the 2020 target at 260.717 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2eq), which is 2 percent lower than the 2005 level.
In June 2015, to demonstrate its determination to reduce carbon emissions, Taiwan passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, setting a target of cutting carbon emissions by 2030 to a level equal to 80 percent of the nation's total carbon emissions in 2005, a base year for the long term effort. Under that model, by 2050, Taiwan's total greenhouse gas emissions will be just half of the 2005 total.
Thomas S.K. Chan (詹順貴), deputy minister of environmental protection, told CNA Wednesday that the target for 2020 has slowed partly because three nuclear reactors at the country's first and second nuclear power plants are not in operation.
This means the slack will be taken up by coal-fired and natural gas-fired power generators, which produce higher GHG emissions, while not enough clean, green energy is being produced to fill the gap.
Under the greenhouse gas Act, Taiwan's greenhouse gas output should be 10 percent lower than the 2005 level by 2025 and 20 percent lower by 2030.
Chan expects the rate of cutting GHG emissions to pick up in the period 2021-2025 and gain momentum from 2025-2030, as recyclable energy supply increases, which would make Taiwan's 2025 and 2030 targets attainable.
Under President Tsai Ing-wen administration's plan to make Taiwan a "nuclear free homeland" by 2025, 20 percent of the island's power will be supplied by green energy, 30 percent by coal-fired power plants and 50 percent by liquefied natural gas-fired generators.