The Building Kinmen Low-carbon Island Plan has been in implementation for ten years. On 5 September 2022, the EPA and the Kinmen County Government held a forum in Kinmen attended by EPA Minister Chang Tzi-Chin and Kinmen County Magistrate Yang Chen-Wu. Experts and scholars were invited to review and share implementation outcomes and achievements, and brainstorm ways to accelerate towards net-zero green living.
Involvement of the entire citizenry is needed to respond to climate change. Since 2012, the EPA has been implementing the Low-Carbon Homeland Program, including assistance given to Kinmen County to draw up the first and second phases of the Building Kinmen Low-carbon Island Plan. Both programs were approved by the Executive Yuan, in 2013 and 2019, respectively. Considering that the second phase plan will be implemented at the end of 2022 and that Taiwan has also just announced its 2050 Net-Zero Emission Pathway, the EPA held this forum to gather relevant ministry representatives, experts and scholars together for discussion.
During his speech, EPA Minister Chang said that ten years ago everyone was still very unfamiliar with the concept of “low-carbon island.” There were indeed many setbacks in the planning and promotion process. Then, the EPA, Kinmen County and relevant ministries jointly established the Kinmen Low-carbon Island Promotion Taskforce to integrate central and local resources. Through communication and coordination among all parties, people’s conceptions gradually changed and key hurdles were overcome, eventually leading to remarkable results.
In the opening speech, Kinmen County Magistrate Yang thanked the Executive Yuan, the EPA and relevant ministries for the long-time assistance and support that allowed Kinmen to address the issues of climate change, energy conservation and carbon reduction, and for helping the county to connect with good friends all over Taiwan, as well as the world, through the term “low-carbon.” Over the past ten years, from exploration, trials and adjustments in the first phase, to proactive actions and implementation of relevant tasks in the second phase, the Kinmen County Government has been building up the mitigation and adaptation capacities Kinmen needs in the face of climate change. Magistrate Yang hoped that everyone would look to the future together and deeply root the concept of sustainable development in every corner of Kinmen.
The EPA pointed out that Kinmen County’s greenhouse gas emissions are primarily from the sector of commercial and residential buildings, accounting for 36%, followed by the manufacturing and transportation sectors, accounting for 29% and 24% respectively. The major achievements of the second phase of the Kinmen low-carbon island plan include: increase of the share of renewable energy (photovoltaic and wind) power generation capacity to 11.5%; installation of two energy storage systems; installation of high-efficiency generators and the use of waste heat for power generation in Taipower’s Tashan Power Plant; installation of smart meters across the island and the establishment of a smart grid demonstration site; replacement of lights in government offices, schools and street lamps island-wide with energy-saving LED’s; reutilization of polystyrene marine waste and fishing nets as resources; and continuous improvement of manufacturing processes, replacement and upgrading of equipment, collection and use of methane emitted from wastewater treatment facilities for power generation by Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc. These achievements have not only successfully raised awareness and spurred concrete actions among Kinmen’s people regarding energy conservation and carbon reduction, they have also built up local carbon-reducing capacities.
Forum participants spoke on topics such as renewable energy installations and smart grids, vehicle electrification, low-carbon buildings and low-carbon tourism. Minister Chang said that in light of Taiwan’s announcement in March this year of the 2050 Net-Zero Emission Pathway and 12 key strategies, he hoped that the third phase of the plan would be aligned in the same direction, thereby facilitating support and promotion by all central government ministries. He also hoped that via communication through the platform of the Kinmen Low-carbon Promotion Taskforce, the central and local governments can work together to advance from low carbon to net zero.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, October 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)