Taiwan ex-Premier Lai calls for national conference on climate change

Government needs to speed up response to climate change challenge

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Ex-Premier William Lai (center) at a climate change event Friday May 24 (screenshot from www.facebook.com/chingte)

Ex-Premier William Lai (center) at a climate change event Friday May 24 (screenshot from www.facebook.com/chingte)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Friday (May 24) said that if given the opportunity to govern, he would call a National Affairs Conference about climate change.

On his Facebook page, Lai explained how Taiwan’s current carbon-emission reduction targets were already a decade old. By 2030, the emissions should be cut by 20 percent and by 2050 by half, he said, but many still doubted those aims could be achieved.

Lai said that if allowed to govern, he would call a climate change conference to discuss pollution, energy policies and climate change, and visit each part of the country to explain what was necessary and so win the public’s understanding and support.

He predicted that within the next few decades, Taiwan would suffer more extreme weather, with fiercer typhoons, more frequent flooding, stronger storms and hotter summers. The country would have to rethink its construction and open-space methods, he added.

Taiwan needed to upgrade its disaster prevention efforts, as extreme weather and climate change also affected national security, and should therefore be included in the domain of a new “homeland security ministry,” the former premier wrote on Facebook.

Earlier in the day, Lai attended an event focusing attention on the perils of climate change.