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Taipei passes legislation to go net-zero by 2050

Ordinance supports roadmap to cut greenhouse gases

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(Unsplash, <a href="https://unsplash.com/@brindo_">Jack Brind</a> photo)

(Unsplash, Jack Brind photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei has become the first municipality in Taiwan to enact legislation that will rein in carbon dioxide emissions as it seeks to achieve the net-zero target by 2050.

The ordinance, which passed on Wednesday (June 22), will take effect six months after it is approved by the Cabinet and promulgated. It addresses climate change woes from eight aspects, including:

  1. Greenhouse gas removal
  2. Green energy transition
  3. Energy conservation
  4. Green transportation
  5. Waste reduction
  6. Carbon sinks enhancement
  7. Adaptation
  8. Sustainable development

Taipei Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Liou Ming-Lone (劉銘龍) said that the capital will work to cut emissions 40% by 2030, and 65% by 2040, before going completely carbon neutral by 2050. It will push for a carbon budget system and carbon offset scheme while promoting low-carbon travel and encouraging low-carbon certification.

Investments will be made to boost the use of renewables by obligating large electricity users to turn to such energy, transforming incineration plants into green energy circular parks, and introducing hydrogen fuel.

Public and new buildings will be required to meet energy-efficiency standards as the city slashes non-essential use of power. This will also be achieved by making advertising lighting energy-efficient and pushing for a minimum 1% reduction in electricity, water, fuel, and paper at public institutions.

Transportation is a key area for the initiative, with a focus on vehicle electrification. Taipei’s public buses will go electric and diesel-powered government vehicles will be phased out. Electric taxis and logistics vehicles will be incentivized, while charging facilities will be added to foster an environment friendly to such transportation tools.

To reduce waste, single-use tableware and containers across the accommodation and dining industries will be trimmed, as will plastic packaging. Businesses will be urged to make reusable cups and containers widely available, and encouraged to use reclaimed water.

More carbon sinks will be added through better management of sidewalk trees, greenery, and forest resources. Practices will be implemented to drive carbon sequestration by, for example, conserving wetlands.

Meanwhile, Taipei will seek to improve its adaptive capacity in the event of climate disasters. This involves a multi-pronged approach, entailing flood mitigation, rainwater retention, sponge city measures, and others.

The net-zero objective will not be accomplished without taking into account the more fundamental issue of sustainability. As such, the city will strive to protect natural habitats, preserve biodiversity, promote green landscaping, plant trees and edible crops, push climate risk reviews among the corporate world, and raise climate change awareness through education.

The regulation is the first in the country to draft a roadmap for a carbon-neutral future and its passage demonstrates the city’s resolve to spearhead efforts that serve the environmental cause, noted the Department of Environmental Protection of Taipei City.