Taipei releases 2020 SDG Voluntary Local Review

Taiwanese capital strives to become more livable city in post-pandemic era

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2020 Taipei Climate Action International Forum (Department of Environmental Protection photo)
2020 Taipei Climate Action International Forum (Department of Environmental Protection photo)

2020 Taipei Climate Action International Forum (Department of Environmental Protection photo)

2020 Taipei Climate Action International Forum (Department of Environmental Protection photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — At the 2020 Taipei Climate Action International Forum on Tuesday (Sept. 15), the Taipei City Government published a report on its accomplishments in promoting sustainable development amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Titled "2020 Taipei City Voluntary Local Review" (VLR), the report listed four Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were not included in the 2019 edition: quality education; gender equality; decent work and economic growth; and industry, innovation, and infrastructure. The SDGs are a set of 17 global objectives that constitute a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all as set forth by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

Taipei has incorporated the SDGs into its response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. Related actions include establishing quarantine hotels and tracking systems, promoting online courses to ensure the right to education, launching bailout packages to prop up the economy, and disinfecting public places and transport to reduce the risk of transmission.

The city has also made efforts to bolster disease control at the community level, implement proper waste disposal management to ensure a zero transmission environment, and compile relevant standard operation procedures in English to more easily share the city's experience with the world.

As for the four additional SDGs in this year’s report, the city pledged measures such as increasing subsidies for public daycare centers, raising public awareness of domestic violence, and providing employment matchmaking services. In terms of infrastructure, the city is upgrading its public transit network to integrate the MRT, buses, and bicycles as solutions to the "last mile" problem while improving accessibility to public facilities.

Centered around climate action and energy transition, the international forum was held in Taipei, and sessions were live-streamed. Representatives from the EU, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the Netherlands, France, and Japan shared their experience in sustainable development policies at the forum, with some participating via videoconference or recorded videos.

Artur Runge-Metzger, director of the European Commission’s DG CLIMA, shared how the EU will strive to promote post-coronavirus climate action under the European Green Deal. IGES Joint Program Director Yatsuka Kataoka gave an overview of cities’ SDG strategies.

Akiko Okubo, director at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Environment, told attendees about the Japanese capital’s path to zero emissions. The Dutch and French representative offices in Taipei as well as the governments of Los Angeles and Utrecht Municipality shared their respective journeys to promote low-carbon alternatives.

As for Taiwan’s answer to the energy transition, Sunny Founder proposed energy generation that involves citizen participation. Meanwhile, National Taiwan University’s Risk Society and Policy Research Center urged action on energy transition to help improve city resilience.