Climate Action with Taiwan, Taiwan can help!

  • 2023-12-01
  • Andrew H.C. Lee, Representative Taipei Mission in the Republic of Latvia

As the dangerous impacts of climate change such as wildfires and worldwide record-high temperatures become increasingly apparent and urgent on humanity, the spirit of working together is more than urgent to combat the challenge that knows no border. As a result, the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the UNFCCC in Dubai this year again marks the climate change as an urgent international issue that must be solved in accordance with environmental guidelines of all participating countries. 

Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is shouldering its share of responsibility and fulfilling the international net-zero emissions through a series of actions such as amending and renaming the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, hosting the first Pacific Climate Change Forum, establishing the Taiwan Carbon Solution Exchange, and restructuring the Environmental Protection Administration into the Ministry of Environment to max out government capacity. All these efforts have made Taiwan as an indispensable partner for fulfilling net-zero goal and deserves a voice in the COP28.

Being Asia’s eighth largest GHG emotion, Taiwan is also the 18th country in the world to codify the 2050 net-zero emissions goal into law and has joined the ranks of countries with carbon trading platforms to create incentives for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions and assists industries in meeting international supply chain requirements to stipulate a national goal of net-zero emission by 2050. 

In response to the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and supply-chain decarbonization trends, Taiwan has complied with world standards to meet the carbon reduction targets through advanced technology. Moreover, as an important link in the global supply chain, Taiwan has incorporated environmental issues into negotiations with the United States under the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade and with the United Kingdom for the Enhanced Trade Partnership. This ensures that Taiwan and like-minded partners continue to further promote international trade and contribute to global environmental sustainability, thereby aligning with international climate governance. 

The fact that Taiwan was the 17th largest exporter and importer of merchandise in 2022 not only showcases its economic capacity, but also means great international responsibilities. This is even outstanding by the fact that 20 Taiwanese enterprises are members of the RE100, a renewable energy initiative launched by the Climate Group and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and have committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050. Furthermore, the Taiwan Climate Partnership (TCP) aims at low-carbon transition by building a comprehensive and detailed database of corporate carbon emissions that set forth a clear agenda for carbon reduction goals and increase efficiency of energy. This shows how Taiwan is capable of building a greener future through the use of technology with partners around the world.

To create sustainable and long-term approach toward green environment and net-zero emission, Taiwan also implements workshops and international scholarship programs for our diplomatic allies and developing countries, aiming at cultivating professional talents in economics, social development, and environmental protection. Through special funds, Taiwan and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) work together to support the implementation of the Green Energy Financing Facility in the Eastern European and Central Asian region that helps advance green economy and investment in renewable energy, sustainability, and climate recovery.

The main theme of Taiwan’s participation in the COP28 this year, “Climate Action with Taiwan, Taiwan can help!” underlines its ability and willingness to work efficiently with all stakeholders and help its friends around the world to achieve net-zero emission and fight against climate change. No country should be left behind if the net-zero emission goal is to be achieved. Swift and dynamic cooperation with Taiwan is key to the said issue, as Taiwan fully demonstrates its determination and capacity to strengthen global cooperation and resilience to combat the warming of the planet and complex environmental challenges. 

Climate change does not discriminate, and mechanisms to address climate change such as the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement should not discriminate against Taiwan due to political consideration. Taiwan has never shirked its responsibility. Like other countries, it should be given equal opportunity to participate in the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. In the spirit of professionalism, pragmatism, inclusiveness, and making contributions, we urge countries worldwide to back Taiwan’s bid to join the COP 28. Taiwan is determined to work with the international community to achieve net-zero emission and fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals.