Before the passing of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, the EPA was working by the Principles for Promoting the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Early Action and Offset Program that were announced in 2010. Statistics show that as of the end of 2015, the EPA had received 239 applications for offset and had approved 175 of them, resulting in the greenhouse gas reduction of 69.179 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents.
Natural disasters caused by extreme climate are occurring more frequently worldwide. This winter has seen snow falling in many parts of Taiwan and severe cold weather in other countries. Unusual weather naturally makes people more concerned about climate change issues. Taiwan promulgated its Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act on 1 July 2015. The EPA is currently working hard on formulating subsidiary regulations and policies to keep Taiwan in line with the new directions set in the Paris Agreement adopted by the Twenty-first Session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21) / and the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11) on 13 December 2015.
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act stipulates that Taiwan’s greenhouse gas reduction strategy should be implemented in three stages. The first stage consists of audits, inspection and registration of greenhouse gas sources. The second stage involves the use of efficiency standards and incentives to encourage enterprises to voluntarily reduce their emissions. The final stage will see the introduction of the cap and trade scheme. The government has already formulated, and is implementing, regulations covering the first stage of audits, inspections and registration. As for voluntary emissions reduction, in 2010 a set of administrative rules - the Principles for Promoting the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Early Action and Offset Program – were announced to encourage voluntary reductions. On 31 December 2015, the Regulations Governing Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Program Management were announced in accordance with Article 22 of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act. The above measures have been designed to pave the way for the cap and trade system.
Statistics show that as of the end of 2015, after nearly six years of implementation, the EPA had received 239 applications for offset programs and had approved 175 of them, which resulted in greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to 69.179 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Sixteen new methods of emission reduction were also approved that could prove useful to Taiwan’s enterprises when emission caps are enforced. More information can be found on the EPA’s National Greenhouse Gas Registration Platform website (http://ghgregistry.epa.gov.tw/index.aspx) and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Trading Network website (http://www.ghginfo.org.tw/index.php).
Promoting voluntary emissions reduction will not only reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases but will also bring about the twin benefits of stimulating investment in a green economy and lowering the cost that pollution causes to society as a whole. The applications that the EPA have approved to date represent an investment of NT$8.46 billion that could create an increase in Taiwan’s gross domestic product of NT$12.61 billion and an estimated – using the US government’s Social Cost of Carbon methodology – saving to society of NT$5.76 billion.
The incentives for the voluntary emission reduction are beneficial in three aspects: reducing carbon emissions, stimulating investment in a green economy, and lowering the cost that pollution causes to society as a whole. The EPA is now in consultation with other government agencies concerning the formulation of effective efficiency standards in accordance with Articles 17 and 22 of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)