On 23 April 2016, the EPA awarded silver and bronze medals to local governments at various levels which actively promoted the low-carbon sustainable homeland program, leading to good outcomes. The awarded governments not only performed well in energy saving and carbon reduction, the residents of their jurisdictions are also turning the concept of a low-carbon sustainable homeland into actual actions. They are certainly the best models for practicing a low-carbon lifestyle.
The EPA believes that creating social infrastructure for a low-carbon sustainable homeland requires the participation of all residents. The concepts of energy saving and carbon reduction have to be transformed into actual actions in every area of daily life, such as food, clothing, accommodation, transportation, education, and entertainment. In July 2014, the EPA started the pilot plan for the Low-carbon Sustainable Homeland Certification and Rating that was formally rolled out on 1 January 2015. The EPA hopes that the plan will encourage local governments to sign up in the spirit of “competition with oneself.”
To be accepted by the EPA into the certification and grading system, participating units must implement plans that suit local needs and environments and include concepts such as landscape greening, using green energy and saving electricity, green transportation, resource recycling, low-carbon lifestyles, and sustainable business models. The EPA has adopted a layer-by-layer cumulative approach to rolling out the system, in which implementation is bottom-up while guidance is top-down. Therefore, for a local government to achieve the threshold of a given grade for the low-carbon homeland, it must have the participation of a certain number of villages and townships/cities that have also obtained certification of the same grade.
With the active participation of all levels of the local governments, all government levels were involved and the achievements were very outstanding. As of 20 April 2016, a total of 2,269 units had completed surveys for their districts, organized implementation teams, formulated their low-carbon sustainability pledge, and signed up for building a low-carbon homeland. Among these, 502 units had implemented their low-carbon sustainable actions. After being reviewed by a committee composed of scholars and experts, 18 units rated as silver and 484 as bronze. On 23 April 2016 the EPA awarded silver medals to 18 participating units and bronze medals to eight city/county governments.
The ceremony was held in Sanchong, District, New Taipei City, as two boroughs of the district were given a silver grade, a rare and noteworthy achievement for other communities to learn from. In addition, New Taipei City itself was also the first county/city that received the silver certification. Chengde and Shunde were awarded for the low-carbon measures of rooftop solar panel installation, construction of rooftop vegetable plots, eco-ponds, wall plantations and rainwater collecting and recycling systems. The Chengde and Shunde borough offices also trained volunteers to maintain and manage their communities in a more sustainable way.
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)