In response to global carbon reduction efforts, the Executive Yuan approved the National Climate Change Action Guidelines ( 國家因應氣候變遷行動綱領 ) in February 2017. The Guidelines serve as the general directions for policies on greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The EPA consulted with various central industrial competent authorities to set carbon reduction goals for the first stage. To jointly lower emissions, practical responsibilities have been delegated to each sector after referring to emission contributions, current emissions, reduction trends as well as
potential reductions in the energy, production, transportation, residential and business, agricultural, and environmental sectors. A public hearing was also held on 23 November 2017 in order to collect opinions from the public. Approved by the Executive Yuan on 23 January 2018, the Guidelines stipulate reductions that start slowly and later accelerate. The target of cutting emissions by 2020 to 2% lower than that of the baseline year 2005, and other mid-term goals, are outlined. It aims to gradually achieve the long-term reduction goals during the next 139 years.
To reach the reduction goals of each stage, the EPA consulted with central regulatory authorities and formulated the draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Promotion Program ( 溫室氣體減量推動方案 ). It was submitted to the Executive Yuan on 2 January 2018 for approval and future implementation. Since carbon reduction efforts involve transformation of energy sources, consumer behaviors, and industrial structures, countries tend to proceed via cautious planning and promotion with long-term goals set for 2030 or 2050. Taiwan’s current new energy policies and conservation movements will start a preliminary energy transformation, although it may even slightly increase carbon emissions. However, in the long run, with all ministries shouldering their responsibilities and through continuous hard work, the long-term reduction goals can be accomplished.
Various incentive measures
To raise industry’s awareness of climate change mitigation and carbon emission reduction, the EPA has been promoting the system for carbon footprint labels. Also, the Low-Carbon Product Award Regulations ( 低碳產品獎勵辦法 ) were promulgated on 10 July 2017 to increase tangible incentives for enterprises to apply for carbon footprint labels (or “carbon labels”) and carbon footprint reduction labels (or “carbon reduction labels”).
In addition, the EPA drafted the Regulations Governing Incentives for Greenhouse Emission Sources Compliant with Efficiency Standards ( 溫室氣體排放源符合效能標準獎勵辦法 ). These regulations aim to reward announced emission sources that have begun to take carbon emission mitigation measures before being included in the total emission control, as well as to serve as a basis for the certification of Taiwan’s voluntary mitigation results. Subsidies are also in place to reward enterprises that install generators to produce electricity from methane extracted from landfills.
Building a low-carbon sustainable homeland
To strengthen local capacities to achieve low-carbon status, the EPA and regional governments actively promoted the Low-Carbon Sustainable Homeland Certification and Rating Promotion Plan ( 低碳永續家園認證評等推動計畫 ). Villages, neighborhoods, towns, and regional governments are encouraged and helped to sign up to receive a rating. From 1 July 2014 to February 2018, participants comprised a total of 22 regional governments, 325 towns and cities (accounting for 88.3% of 368 towns in Taiwan with an average county/city participation of over 50%), and 3,474 villages/neighborhoods (accounting for 44.2% of 7,851 villages/neighborhoods in Taiwan with an average county/city participation of 35%). Fiftythree silver class certifications and 861 bronze class certifications were awarded after evaluation. In 2017, a total of 138 communities were newly certified.
The average energy conservation per person at the borough level in 2017 compared to 2016 have been analyzed, showing that the average energy saved was 3.79 kWh/person in boroughs that did not participate in the certification, 4.22 kWh/person in participating boroughs, and 5.74 kWh/person in boroughs receiving bronze certification, and 14.91 kWh/person in boroughs receiving silver certification. This is evidence of largely improved public awareness of the importance of energy conservation and carbon reduction and that participants are working hard to achieve and live a low-carbon lifestyle by adopting new behaviors.
Raising public awareness to act on climate change
An information disclosure platform has been established to promote strategies for a low-carbon and sustainable lifestyle. Also, an online platform has been set up to integrate diverse knowledge and information relevant to climate change, energy conservation, carbon reduction, low-carbon lifestyles, and impact mitigation. It serves as a channel to promote policies in response to climate change and practical tips on living a low-carbon life.
Regional governments and civic organizations are brought together to cooperate on energy conservation, carbon reduction, and climate change mitigation. In 2017, 22 regional governments have been subsidized with a total of NT$61,500,000. In addition, promotion of energy conservation and carbon reduction measures are carried out in local communities alongside the efforts of civic organizations to encourage participation in environmental protection activities and events. A total of 47 civic organizations have received grants to jointly build a low-carbon sustainable society.
Enterprises that perform well are also given rewards for emission reduction. Those that install generators to produce electricity from methane extracted from landfills are provided with monetary rewards, with a total of NT$5,712,000 disbursed in 2017. Such capacity for treatment of methane reached 10,065 metric tons, equivalent to reducing 70,588 metric tons of carbon emissions.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)