Taiwan’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, promulgated on 1 July 2015, has now been in effect for one year. During this time, the EPA formulated sets of subsidiary regulations to bring about greenhouse gas reduction and improved management. The EPA will continue to ensure that Taiwan comply with the Paris Agreement and the international efforts to slow global warming by pushing forward the implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act.
In response to climate change, the Taiwan government has pledged to the international community that it will fulfill its share of responsibility to protect the planet by lowering Taiwan’s greenhouse gas emissions. Locally, the government has created interministerial mechanisms and designed reduction models and tools that will foster greater cooperation on greenhouse gas reduction efforts, and give greenhouse gas reduction efforts a solid foundation in law. From 2006 onwards, the government formulated a number of drafts of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, and after years of debate in the Legislative Yuan, the bill was finally passed as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act on 15 June 2015. The Act came into effect on 1 July 2015.
Subsidiary Regulations Announced
1) On 25 December 2015, the EPA announced the Regulations Governing Incentives for Landfill Sites to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, while on 30 December 2015, the Regulations Governing Incentives for Landfill Sites to Use Methane for Electricity Generation were annulled.
2) On 31 December 2015, the Regulations Governing Greenhouse Gases Offset Program Management were announced.
3) On 5 January 2016, the EPA announced the Management Regulations Governing Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories and Registration, and at the same time annulled the Management Regulations Governing the Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
4) On 6 January 2016, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Enforcement Rules were announced.
5) On 7 January 2016, the Greenhouse Gas Accreditation Organizations and Verification Organizations Management Regulations and the Regulations Governing Greenhouse Gases Testing and Verification Organizations were simultaneously annulled.
6) On 7 January 2016, the First Batch of Emission Sources Required to Report Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory and Registration was announced, and the Public and Private Premises Required to Report Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stationary Pollution Sources was concurrently annulled.
7) On 30 January 2016, the Greenhouse Gas Management Fund Revenues and Expenditures, Safekeeping, and Utilization Regulations were announced. In addition, the EPA is putting together a Greenhouse Gas Management Fund Management Committee to watch over the revenue/expenditure, safekeeping and utilization, annual budget, and fund utilization evaluation.
8) On 28 January 2016, the EPA formulated the Establishment Rules for the Greenhouse Gas Phased Control Targets Advisory Committee in preparation for the formation of a committee to advise on the formulation, and any later amendments, of the Working Standards for Greenhouse Gas Phased Control Targets and Control Measures.
Long-Term and Phased Reduction Targets
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act is the cornerstone of Taiwan’s legal infrastructure for climate change response. The Act clearly sets out a long-term greenhouse gas reduction target of a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by the year 2050. A mechanism is also included in the Act so that the reduction targets can be adjusted according to future decisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), other international conventions as well as changes in the situation in Taiwan. In addition, the Act also includes five-year phased control targets – accompanied by economic incentives – to gradually establish the cap-and-trade system aimed at enhancing both climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
1. Compiling and Assessing the Interministerial Action Programs
The EPA has compiled and analyzed the planned tasks that each ministry will undertake as part of the 2016 National Green Energy Low-carbon Action Plans, and has asked related ministries to re-verify their work plans and the estimated achievements. The EPA has also published the 2015 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report in accordance with the guidelines laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2006.
2. Promoting the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting System
Since 1 January 2012, the EPA has been, in batches, requesting major enterprises to submit annual emission reports. As of the end of 2015, the EPA had added 269 firms to the list, and the reporting rate has been 100%. These enterprises account for approximately 80% of CO2 emissions from industry and fossil-fuel energy generation in Taiwan, thus they provide very useful emissions data.
3. Promoting the Greenhouse Gas Emission Accreditation and Verification Organization Management System
Since 17 February 2014, the EPA has evaluated and approved eight verification organizations to conduct a total of 63 types of verifications. Since 2009, the EPA has also been providing greenhouse gas auditing training and conducting onsite auditing work done by accreditation and verification organizations, so as to improve the capabilities of greenhouse gas inspectors and safeguard the quality of verifications.
4. Establishing the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accreditation System
Since the end of February 2016, the EPA has received the applications of 200 early action programs, 39 offset registration programs, one carbon credit certification, and 30 new reduction methods. Of these, the EPA has approved 174 early response programs, 10 offset program registrations, one carbon credit certification, and 16 new reduction methods. Through such accreditations, the EPA is establishing a sound foundation for the introduction of carbon trading in the future.
5. Promoting Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
The EPA has been strengthening the operation of CCS strategic alliances, and has set up a CCS communication platform. Five strategic alliance conferences have been held, as have two international symposiums to enhance international cooperation and exchanges. The EPA has also produced a short film featuring experts who attended the symposiums summing up their ideas on carbon reduction.
Taiwan’s Future Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies to Match International Practices
Since the promulgation of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, one of the main tasks of the central competent authority has been to keep track of the major emission sources through registration and verification. The EPA has also promoted various incentives and subsidies offered by government departments in order to encourage large enterprises to voluntarily reduce emissions. The EPA has also been working with related ministries to formulate energy efficiency standards for emission sources and incentives for voluntary reductions in order to encourage enterprises to take early actions. With the twin aims of complying with international climate change agreements and maintaining the competitiveness of Taiwan’s industries, the EPA has been conducting research into the timetable for establishing the cap-and-trade system. The EPA has also been announcing, in phases, the pollution sources to be controlled and has been formulating phased emission control targets. It is hoped that the reduction targets will be met through flexible tools such as emissions trading and offset.
To mitigate global warming and climate change along with the international community, the EPA will aim to implement the Paris Agreement through formulating and enforcing greenhouse gas reduction regulations. The EPA has already created the National Climate Change Response Framework, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Promotion Program, and the Sector Greenhouse Gas Emission Control Action Programs. A number of other Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act subsidiary regulations and accompanying measures have also been formulated in preparation for the rolling out of the cap-and-trade system.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)