To accelerate carbon reduction, the EPA is revising the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act and had frequent discussions with relevant ministries, non-governmental organizations and industries. After summarizing the suggestions from all sectors, the revision bill was renamed Climate Change Response Act to expand policy coverage. In addition, in view of the fact that international carbon reduction regulations are being set up with economic and trade issues in consideration, in particular, the European Union (EU) is about to implement the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the EPA is monitoring these trends closely and will come up with response measures when the need arises. For example, the collection of carbon fees and the product carbon content calculation and regulation methods have been included as key points of this revision.
On 22 April, Earth Day, President Tsai declared that “transitioning to net zero by 2050 is a target of the whole world. It is also a target of Taiwan.” Premier Su of the Executive Yuan also reminded everyone at an Executive Yuan meeting on the same day that "greater determination and resolve are needed to speed up and aim for 2050 net zero carbon emissions."
To achieve the target of transitioning to net zero, the Executive Yuan has held many “net zero emissions pathway assessment working group” meetings, inviting Academia Sinica and the Industrial Technology Research Institute to provide professional advice. Cross-ministerial technical evaluations based on the four major work circles of "decarbonized energy", "industry and energy efficiency", "green transportation and electrification of transportation vehicles" and "carbon negative technologies" were conducted. Pathways were also developed on the basis of short-, medium- and long-term energy and industrial policy planning for 2030, 2040 and 2050, respectively.
In addition, the EPA has been collaborating with relevant ministries to communicate with members of the public on Vision 2050, discussing key issues such as agricultural and forestry carbon sinks, net zero construction, green transportation, low-carbon industries, and economic tools. Cross-field social dialogues are also promoted to encourage participation from all sectors and investment in the research and development of innovative technologies.
According to the EPA, the EU is still reviewing the CBAM bill after it was proposed on 14 July of this year. Some implementation details and calculation methods are still to be formulated. In addition to the EU, the United States, Japan and Canada have also successively announced plans to implement a similar kind of carbon border adjusting mechanism. When the EPA held the meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Chinese National Federation of Industries, Taiwan Steel and Iron Industries Association, Taiwan Cement Manufacturers’ Association, and Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan on 2 July of this year, the industrial representatives also recommended revising regulations. In addition to strengthening carbon reduction management in domestic industries, they thought fair competition for products between countries should also be considered and the government should evaluate applying corresponding carbon emission control measures on imported products.
The EPA stated that it is crucial to revise the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act at this moment. Not only is it to be in line with the international community, it is also to guide policies towards accelerating and intensifying carbon reduction efforts, and to help industries invest in low carbon technologies and economic development so as to lead the country towards sustainable development. In light of the urgency for the whole world to reduce carbon and the export-oriented nature of Taiwan’s economy, the EPA will continue to study and discuss with various agencies and help domestic industries respond appropriately to maintain international competitiveness.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, September 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)