Cooperating as one for realizing Net-Zero World with help from Taiwan

  • 2022-11-11
  • Andrew H.C. Lee, Representative of Taipei Mission in the Republic of Latvia

As alarming heatwaves swept across the globe and triggered forest fires in Europe and the US this July, and record-breaking floods engulfed Pakistan in August, we see more and more natural catastrophes rising around the world in a frequency we have never seen before and how devastating they can be to our daily lives. As a result, the increasing needs for the world to cooperate hand in hand against natural threats is more urgent than ever.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and more ambitious climate actions are needed to make our world a safer place before nature disasters take away the only shelter we have. Taiwan, as a responsible stakeholder in the international community, is calling on like-minded countries around the world to support its participation in UNFCCC this year not only to contribute to a net-zero world, but fulfill the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

It is very encouraging that the government of Latvia and Estonia attach great importance to the climate change related issues through a high-profile attendance by the Presidents at the 27th Session of the Conference of the Parties, which is being held from November 6 to 18 in Egypt. And something especially worth mentioning is that the three political parties forming the Latvian ruling coalition have agreed to create a new Ministry in charge of issues on climate and energy under the new government. This fully demonstrates the Latvian government’s strong commitment to combating climate change and achieving the SDGs approved by the United Nations.

Taiwan’s contributions to achieve net-zero emissions

In the face of the greatest threats posed by global climate change, the spirit of cooperating and working together is vital for accelerating and extending global efforts. As a result, Taiwan’s government has set forth a series of net-zero transition pathway and strategies including publishing “Taiwan’s Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions in 2050” in March 2022, and set up a foundation of technical R&D needed for net-zero transition. Additional 12 strategic priorities that mainly focus on green energy, innovative energy, energy savings and efficiency, carbon capture will also be implemented for this goal.

Nevertheless, Taiwan is also committed to combating climate change by building a solid base for its legislation on climate by amending the “Climate Change Response Act” to stipulate a national goal of net-zero emission by 2050, and actively sharing its experiences in disaster prevention capabilities, energy efficiency, agricultural resilience, carbon-neutral tourism, talent training and green finance, making Taiwan even as an indispensable partner for fulfilling net-zero goal and deserves a voice at this year’s UNFCCC.

A swift and dynamic cooperation of Taiwanese enterprises to a sustainable world 

Taiwan’s overall trade value ranks 16th in the world and its enterprises demonstrate great vitality and shoulder great international responsibilities. This is made clear by the fact that 20 major Taiwanese enterprises are members of the RE100 (a global corporate renewable energy initiative launched by the Climate Group and the 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 use of energy. This shows how Taiwan is more than willing and able to be part of sustainable economy toward a greener future.

Taiwan helps its allies and partners in realizing net-zero and disaster prevention 

The slogan of Taiwan’s participation to the UNFCCC COP27 this year, “Net-Zero World with Help from Taiwan” clearly points out its ability and willingness to help its friends around the world to achieve a net-zero world. Through technology transfer, loans and investments, capacity building, and talent training, Taiwan is working with our friends and allies in building the capacity to address climate mitigation and adaptation.

For examples, Taiwan helped Belize establish early warning systems for flooding and strengthen technical capacity at its disaster prevention institutions, and helped implement Home Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Project in the Marshall Islands through green energy technology that significantly reduces energy consumption and increase solar power usage. Nevertheless, Taiwan also helped Saint Christopher and Nevis build agricultural resilience by establishing early warning data-collection mechanism and helped Palau to launch the world’s first carbon footprint calculator for the scope of overall industrial capacity. Taiwan has won great reputation from our allies for what we have done for a better future.

Sustainable development through long-term cooperative programs and funds 

To foster long-term approach toward net-zero and green environment, 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 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 world community should include Taiwan to UNFCCC COP 27

Given the fact that climate change and natural disasters know no borders, Taiwan, as a responsible partner in the global community, will resolutely work with its like-minded allies in the world and contribute to the fulfillment of net-zero. And as we have shown the world over the past few years, we will not bow to any political interference to Taiwan’s participation in the world community and the world should not yield to pressure of any kinds that hinders Taiwan’s inclusion to the UNFCCC COP 27.