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August 22, 2017

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Gov't must work harder to develop a 'low-carbon' nation

Data from the EPA shows that 62 percent of Taiwan's carbon dioxide emissions result from methods of electricity generation by power companies including Taipower (台灣電力公司) and other independent power plants. At the same time, nearly 20 percent of emissions are the result of industrial processes, including processes and energy not used for the production of electricity. Another 14 percent is contributed by the transportation sector.

Based on the German experience, Taiwan authorities should further promote the use of renewable energies and encourage private investment into the R&D energy sector, in the short, mid and long-term.

In 2009, the government said it would be investing NT$25 billion (US$739.64 million) over the next five years in the development of renewable energy and would subsidize the general installation of energy-saving devices. The government also provided NT$20 billion for a research and development fund for green energy technologies, which were expected in turn to draw NT$200 billion in private investment in the industry.

Yet, it is still unclear whether the launch of a promised "low-carbon homeland program" last year that includes developing six low-carbon cities by 2014 and the establishing of four low-carbon residential areas in northern, central, southern and eastern parts of the island, will ever take place.

Without a doubt, EPA Minster Stephen Shu-Hung Shen (沈世宏) has already made great strides in making Taiwan greener, but there is still much to be accomplished for the country to become such "a low-carbon island." To begin with, the EPA must continue to enact policies to keep Taiwan a globally responsible country, and to allow the country to stay on the forefront of reducing carbon emissions in the Asia-Pacific region.

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