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French newspaper reports on Taiwan's pollution reduction efforts

French newspaper reports on Taiwan's pollution reduction efforts

Taiwan has set a goal for reducing carbon emissions to a half of the 2005 level by 2050, which is pretty challenging but possible, a French newspaper reported on Tuesday.

A photograph next to the article titled "Taiwan, the forgotten of the climate negotiations" in Le Figaro shows a fossil-fuel electricity station next to a solar power plant in Taichung in central Taiwan, epitomizing Taiwan's ambivalent attitude in coping with global warming.

Taiwan's Legislature passed the Greenhouse Gases Reduction and Management Act in June, which set a long-term goal for carbon reduction by 2050, said the whole-page report by Tristan Vey.

Taiwan has also set its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) for reducing carbon emissions to 80 percent of 251.6 million metric tons -- the country's total yearly output of 2005 -- by 2030.

Its current greenhouse gas emission accounts for about one percent of global emissions, a bit less than France's, according to the report. But Taiwan's population of 23 million people is only around one third of France's 67 million.

Despite its efforts at reducing pollution, Taiwan was not able to attend the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), which is being held in Le Bourget in suburban Paris through Dec. 11, due to China's blockade, said the report.

Instead, a 50-member Taiwanese delegation is attending the conference as an observer. The Tang Prize Foundation of Taiwan also has a booth in an exhibition on sustainable development on the sidelines of the COP21.

The report also noted that Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has set up a calcium looping pilot plant and planned to establish another one in 2018.

It cited Dr. Ouyang Shoung, a principal researcher at ITRI, as saying that the institute hoped to commercialize the technology of carbon capture and storage in 2020 and Taiwan could reduce 20 percent of carbon emissions thanks to the technology.

Taiwan's goal is pretty challenging, but it's attainable, especially because there's a lot of room for improvement in energy efficiency, the report cited Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, as saying. (By Emmanuelle Tzeng and Kuo Chung-han)

Updated : 2021-09-18 10:21 GMT+08:00