Taiwan’s parliament on Monday approved a greenhouse gas emission reductions and management act that will set binding CO2 targets to 2050 and lead to the establishment of a domestic emissions trading scheme.
Under the law, Taiwan will cut its emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050, according to a press release by Taiwan’s legislative yuan.
“The Taiwan Government will be implementing a cap and trade scheme to achieve low-carbon economy cost-effectively, with the development of international climate negotiation outcomes taken into account while ensuring companies remain competitive globally,” it said.
The statement did not give a specific start date for Taiwan’s carbon market, but said it would be introduced “gradually”.
This is likely to mean a market will be in place by the end of the decade as the statement also refers to Taiwan reviewing its targets every five years to ensure progress is made.
Taiwan’s economy is coal-dependent, and its energy-related CO2 emissions alone hit 333 million tonnes last year, according to a recent report by BP, a 3.5% rise on 2005 levels.
Like in neighbouring Japan, there is strong public opposition against building more nuclear power capacity, and Monday’s statement stressed that the public and private sector alike should focus on energy efficiency measures.
A previous GHG bill had lingered in parliament since 2008, but new hearings were finally carried out last month as concerns have been growing that a successful UN climate deal in Paris in December might lead to some financial repercussions for Taiwan – not a UN member – unless the island also put in place similar policies.
“In the process of drafting these measures, the government has taken international negotiations over climate change into account and has also sought to ensure the competitive edge of Taiwan’s industries,” the parliamentary statement said.
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has been put in charge of implementing the law, but in cooperation with other agencies.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org