UK expert calls on Taiwan to cut back CO2 emissions
By John Liu ,The China Post
April 15, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- As the European Union strives for an 80-percent reduction in carbon emissions, Taiwan should also promise to cut down on carbon emission by 2050, said Sir David King, special representative to the foreign secretary on climate change in the UK.
Delta Electronics Foundation held a press conference yesterday, which was attended by weather expert Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明), Delta Electronics, Inc. (台達電) founder Bruce Cheng (鄭崇華), and British Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan Director Christopher Terence Wood.
Peng made a presentation of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change's (IPCC) report released recently. According to Peng, it is the hope of the IPCC that global temperature increase will be no less than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, and that by 2050, low-carbon energy sources will comprise more than 80 percent of the global energy supply.
Peng pointed out that if humanity fails to make substantial changes on climate issues by 2030, planet earth will roll out "double payback," resulting in great suffering.
The IPCC's report was published in Berlin and the take-home message was clear: "The high-speed mitigation train needs to leave the station very soon and all of global society needs to get on board," said IPCC Chairperson Rajendra Pachauri. Climate change is real, and it will get worse if we fail to act. The solutions are available and affordable, but we are running out of time, Pachauri said.
Established Carbon Reduction Goal
Wood said in his opening remarks yesterday that Britain takes climate change seriously, and has promised 80-percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050. Wood added that greenhouse gas emissions per person per year in the UK have reduced from 10 tonnes in 1990 to 7 tonnes as of now.
Sir David said that greenhouse gases have been increasing every year. However, if a policy framework can be established in the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, then carbon dioxide may possibly decline starting in 2020 at a rate of 8.2-percent reduction per year. In other words, global carbon dioxide emissions will be less than 18 billion tonnes. Assuming a global population of 9 billion, that is equivalent to 2 tonnes per person.
King said that carbon dioxide emissions in Taiwan currently stand at 11.3 tonnes per person per year, and he hopes that Taiwan will promise less than 2 tonnes of emissions by 2050.
King said that the 2-tonne mark is a challenge faced by countries around the world. The UK has reviewed all relevant mechanisms, regulations, compulsory measures, power purchase schemes, etc. in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. He hopes that companies will also participate in this endeavor.
Peng said in response that it is "almost impossible" to reach the 2-tonne reduction mark. He pointed out that what individuals are able to accomplish by themselves is very limited, and that it depends very much on the government and enterprises that may achieve carbon reduction through better energy supply, transportation facilities and urban planning.