To raise awareness of climate change and improve our homelands environmental durability, the EPA began promoting the Low-carbon and Sustainable Homeland since 2009. As of this year, 3,887 neighborhoods are participating. Of these, 783 have actively implemented green energy, recycling, restoration of green environments, low-carbon lifestyles, green transportation and shipping as well as sustainable business practices. Communities have used these six ways to take action against climate change and received either a bronze or silver certification from the EPA.
The EPA noted that communities autonomously implement initiatives to respond to climate change and then apply for in the Low-carbon and Sustainable Homeland certification. Communities that have successfully executed 5-7 items of the initiative or made adjustments to their practices may receive a bronze certificate. Communities that have implemented 13 or more items from the initiative as well as showed excellent performance in four out of the six dimensions can qualify for the silver certificate. Since formally beginning the project in 2015, communities applying for certification has steadily increased. In 2018 there were 15 silver and 95 bronze certificates awarded.
Local governments have also actively participated. In 2017, a number of places were awarded the silver certificate: Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan City, Tainan, Hsinchu County, Yilan County, and Chiayi City. Kaohsiung and Kinmen County were added to the list in 2018. Based on 2018s numbers, there are 3,887 villages, 337 towns (town, cities, districts), and 22 municipalities or counties participating in the initiative. The participation rate is 50%, 92% and 100% respectively. Forty-seven villages received silver certificates; 736 earned a bronze certificate. Ten urban areas received silver certificates, while 108 earned bronze. Among municipalities and counties, 9 received silver certificates and 11 earned bronze.
Among the 738 villages to earn a silver rank, 95% adopted measures to lower indoor temperatures (such as promoting green roofs, plant walls or hedges, and permeable pavement). According to the Bureau of Energy’s statistics, to lower the temperature of a room by one degree, an air conditioner uses 6% more electricity. However, when area temperature reduction measures are taken, indoor temperatures can be reduced by 3-5 degrees, simultaneously lowering electricity use by 10-25%. Thus, these measures not only reduce carbon emissions but also improve communities’ abilities to adjust high temperatures.
In addition, 88% of villages adopted recycling measures; 83% made use of green energy. These communities are also able to implement diverse initiatives to reduce carbon and implement adjustment measures based on their local conditions.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 22 (6)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)