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British expert touts environmental transparency

TAIPEI -- Clarity of information and open discussion are necessary elements to gain public trust in environmental policy, the United Kingdom special representative for climate change said Tuesday.

David King, who is in Taiwan to promote the UK's polices on greenhouse emissions, said the public must be kept abreast of the government's intentions, with third-party voices such as the UK's chief scientific advisor crucial in policy planning.

“The chief scientific advisor has to retain the trust of the government and the public,” said King, who served in that role from 2000 to 2007.

The advisor is responsible for helping the government and the people to communicate over major issues related to the environment, he explained.

He also expressed hopes that Taiwan will learn from the UK's experience in climate policy, hinting at future bilateral cooperation in the fight against climate change.

During a two-day visit that started Monday, King talked with President Ma Ying-jeou about public communication on environmental issues.

He also met separately with the head of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration and business leaders to discuss efforts to reduce carbon footprints.

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