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Taiwan Can Help (with climate change)

Taiwan Climate Alliance spearheaded by Vice President Lai Ching-te making a difference

Sculpture of "Taiwan Can Help" hashtag in Geneva.

Sculpture of "Taiwan Can Help" hashtag in Geneva. (CNA photo)

For those who pay attention to the drastically changing climate and repeated ecological disasters, climate change and global warming have morphed into phenomena that you can observe regularly.

Leaders across the world are busy trying to reverse the current downward spiral of ecological degradation.

It seems like changes are coming fast from all angles of the economy, ranging from electrification in the transportation and automotive sectors to sustainable crypto mining in the financial industry.

However, at its core, the movement for a more sustainable future must originate from shrewd policymaking and cooperation between government and industry.

Taiwan, a nation known for its mesmerizing landscapes, abundant natural resources, and most importantly, manufacturing prowess in semiconductors, holds a strategically significant role in unlocking the global transition to a more sustainable future.

While market leaders and international governance are looking beyond the horizon to curb climate change with initiatives like the EU's Euro VII emissions standard, Apple’s commitment to RE100, and BCG’s running all its offices with renewables, Taiwan is also revamping its technology industry with better practices.

As a Harvard junior who studies environmental science and is driven by advancing sustainability, I am aware of how high the stakes are when it comes to expediting the transition.

Many countries have expressed the intention to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, and Taiwan has been tremendous in contributing to the collective effort.

Among many initiatives, the “Taiwan Climate Alliance” stands out to me. The organization is spearheaded by Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴淸德), who has historically demonstrated a high-level understanding of environmental impacts and recognizes the detriments of industrial pollution.

Being a proud Taiwanese, I have the natural disposition to follow up on what exactly this organization does. In the most earnest sense, this alliance represents a milestone and a huge win for Taiwan’s efforts to curb climate change.

The “Taiwan Climate Alliance” consists of many of the nation's technology giants. Some of the more notable ones include Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Acer.

The group’s aim is twofold. First, the members are committed to fully electrifying their commercial vehicle fleets by 2030 and manufacturing their products with renewable energy by 2050.

This is an ambitious vision, but it is also one that is gravely needed if Taiwan wants to get close to net-zero emissions and a significant reduction in its carbon footprint on an industrial scale.

Second, just as the world is experiencing a noticeable shift from the qualitative aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the quantitative goals of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), Taiwan companies are also starting to incorporate their ecological footprint and carbon reduction into their supply chain management indices.

While all of this is far from enough, it is at least a welcoming start. As more international technology companies come to rely on Taiwan’s output, it is paramount that Taiwan takes the necessary steps to converge government policymaking with business interests.

This way, we can prove to the global community that we are keeping up with the times, and perhaps, more meaningfully, that we are here to help.

William Wu is a junior at Harvard University concentrating in economics, with a secondary in environmental science. As a Taipei native, he is committed to sharing a piece of his Taiwanese heritage with the Harvard community. He has been active in sourcing exciting opportunities with other cultural groups, ranging from academia to government.

Updated : 2021-09-28 07:49 GMT+08:00