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EPA minister returns from U.N. climate conference

EPA minister returns from U.N. climate conference

Wei Kuo-yen, the head of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), returned to the country Saturday from Paris, where he had taken part in activities related to a United Nations conference on climate change.

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded Friday in the French capital.

Although Taiwan is not a party to the UNFCCC, it had a 50-member delegation attending COP21 activities as part of a non-governmental organization under the Industrial Technology Research Institute.

A member of the delegation, Wei was Taiwan's first EPA head to take part in a COP activity even though Taiwan remained excluded from the UNFCCC meeting as a political entity due to the UN not recognizing it as a country.

In a news conference held after his arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Wei said climate financing and regional differences among countries were among the issues discussed at the COP21.

For example, developed nations hoped that emerging economies can shoulder more carbon reduction responsibility, while developing countries hoped richer nations can provide more funds to impoverished countries affected by global temperature change, he said.

Wei said so far the average global temperature has risen by about 1 degree Celsius, but no consensus was reached at the meeting on how to limit the increase in the future.

According to the minister, the meeting did not touch on the issue of nuclear power.

He said he hopes that all political parties in Taiwan can sit down and discuss issues regarding Taiwan's energy mix and work out a long-term plan on how to deal with the matter. (By Chiu Chun-chin and Y.F. Low)

Updated : 2021-09-27 19:37 GMT+08:00