On 25 July 2022, the EPA organized a forum titled “Low-carbon and Sustainable Homeland: Local Decarbonizing Actions to Advance towards a Net-Zero Life.” The Low-carbon and Sustainable Homeland Program is the foundation for promoting “advancing towards net-zero green living by the entire citizenry.” Experts, scholars, and local environmental protection bureaus were invited to the event to exchange ideas on three issues: decarbonizing actions by boroughs and villages, promoting a low-carbon and sustainable homeland, and advancing toward net-zero, green living.
The EPA Minister Tzi-Chin Chang pointed out that resolution of climate change issues required the involvement from all citizens. All people, from a family to a village, from a township, county/city to the whole country, should be mobilized. Since 2012, the EPA has implemented the Low-carbon and Sustainable Homeland Certification Program, through which more than 1,000 boroughs and villages have obtained certifications. These boroughs and villages, divided into silver and bronze categories, have implemented local climate adaptation actions by putting low-carbon lifestyles into practice. They help generate the impetus the country needs to achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emission.
Minister Chang further stated that matters such as climate change mitigation and adaptation involved tasks from different government departments, which must be integrated to raise promotion efficiency. The EPA will continue to actively carry out the amendment of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (溫室氣體減量及管理法) to improve climate legislation and elevate the level of climate governance. Through this forum, he hoped all citizens would create a momentum for change by considering their daily-life choices and taking actions.
The forum was a hybrid of virtual and physical event. It started with Lai Hsiao-Fen, CEO of Homemakers United Foundation, who shared her experience promoting community-based citizens’ power plants. She looked forward to successfully involving more stakeholders to lower the threshold to allow greater innovation, replication and propagation. Lai was followed by Liu Yueh-Mei, chairperson of the Society of Wilderness, who shared the ecological greening promoted by low-carbon communities. She focused on how to green environments to be more in tuned with local features and make them more pleasing to the eye by thinking about the people, facts, time, place and objects. The secretary-general of the National Association for the Promotion of Community Universities, Yang Chih-pin, talked about how those boroughs and villages that received bronze and silver certifications of low-carbon and sustainable homeland could further take root in their localities and become part of people’s daily lives and strong supporters for the country’s net-zero pathway.
During the panel discussion, the experts and scholars expressed their ideas and suggestions. Highlights included the idea that climate change mitigation and adaptation should be of equal importance and complement each other; boroughs, villages and communities should think about their own characteristics on the path towards net zero; exemplary practices should be further spread to households; and the mentality of safeguarding the environment should be transformed into one of safeguarding the homeland.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, August 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)