The “Youth and National Climate Change Forum” was organized by the EPA on 29 July 2020, where youth organizations such as the Taiwan Youth Climate Coalition were invited to discuss ideas on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Over 100 representatives from civic groups and government agencies and experts took part and exchanged ideas. In particular, young participants did not shy away from speaking out on the topic of fighting against climate change.
In his opening speech, EPA Deputy Minister Chih-hsiu Shen noted that both central and local governments have since 2015 formulated relevant guidelines and programs in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (溫室氣體減量及管理法) and other regulations. He added that the second phase (2021 - 2025) of greenhouse gas emission control goals for different sectors would also be launched this year.
In his opening presentation titled “Between Us and 2°C “, youth group representative Chien-yu Kei gave suggestions on the mitigation and adaptation policies for the next stage. The suggestions included setting long-term reduction goals, establishing an open, transparent, and diverse communication mechanism, and strengthening connections between science, technology, and climate actions. Other advice included climate change-related capacity building in the public and private sectors, encouraging investment from the private sector, and setting up cross-departmental competent authorities. All these suggestions were based on the six governance elements of the UN’s Nationally Determined Contributions, which are mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building, and transparency.
Many scholars and experts who had long been involved in climate change issues were also invited to participate. Tzue-luen Lin, Vice Director of the Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction of the Executive Yuan, pointed out that Taiwan’s youths have achieved excellent results in taking part in international climate actions, and that their experiences are expected to be passed on so that Taiwan’s efforts can be seen by the world. Both Professor Chien-te Fan of National Tsing Hua University and Sophia Cheng, Chief Investment Officer of Cathay Finance Holdings, expressed that successful carbon reduction requires public consensus and that only with clear and practical support from the government can Taiwan achieve more ambitious reduction goals. Also, Professor Yu-ming Li of National Taipei University took the internationally used Science-Based Targets (SBTs) as an example and elaborated on the carbon reduction targets Taiwanese private enterprises have formulated and their outstanding achievements.
National Taiwan University Associate Professor Chi-rong Chiou mentioned that Taiwan’s next mission is to systematically train climate change professionals who can later integrate their skills with the industries. Lastly, Director of International Climate Development Institute Gong-yue Chou and Managing Director of KPMG Sustainability Consulting Co. Niven Huang both noted that since climate policies across the world tend to influence each other and have common elements, governments need to focus on jointly tackling the effects and risks of climate change when carrying out policies.
The passion and creativity of Taiwanese young people were fully displayed when the representatives of the youth groups discussed global environmental issues from science-based angles and provided the government with new ideas for policy planning. As climate issues requires participation from all, the EPA will keep having dialogues with all sectors through the transparent dialogue mechanism provided by the Climate Talks website (https://www.climatetalks.tw), and strive together with others for Taiwan’s sustainable development.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (8)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)