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United Daily News: Paris accord shows urgent need to cut carbon

United Daily News: Paris accord shows urgent need to cut carbon

After years of fruitless efforts, a Paris climate agreement, which replaces the Kyoto Protocol in regulating global carbon reduction, was finally reached.

Even though disagreements still exist, all countries are gradually moving toward the goal of reducing carbon emissions in unison because there is now sufficient scientific evidence to support the claims of global warming. The Paris accord is a huge step for humanity, as it confirms that a low-carbon world is crucial to our survival.

We don't need to blame the Paris agreement for being too compromising. Every country on the earth now realizes the crisis of global warming. It is better to seize the moment and take actions right away, than to wait years until everything is set to finally do something.

The new climate agreement is more idealistic than it is compromising. Its main goal is to keep a global temperature rise this century below two degrees Celsius, which corresponds to an atmospheric concentration of CO2 of 450 parts per million. The accord also said it hopes to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or an atmospheric C02 concentration of 350 ppm.

It is actually an impossible target because the atmospheric C02 concentration has already surpassed 400 ppm this year. However, the Paris agreement shows that "the heart can yearn for something even if it cannot be reached."

Unsurprisingly, there is no clear description of Taiwan's role in the new climate accord, but words such as "non-party stakeholders" have appeared in the agreement. This means that the international community will expect Taiwan to fulfill its obligations in reducing carbon emissions.

In fact, the international community has already included Taiwan on its list. In The Climate Change Performance Index released by Germanwatch this year, Taiwan was rated "very poor" and ranked 52nd out of the 58 top CO2 emitting nations. The Paris accord will not bypass Taiwan, which ranked as the world's 24th largest CO2 emitting country. Right now, we should show the international community the specific actions that Taiwan will take to reduce its carbon emissions. (Editorial abstract - Dec. 20, 2015) (By Christie Chen)

Updated : 2021-09-24 07:58 GMT+08:00