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The Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act passed on June 15 and became effective on July 1, 2015 after more than four years under legislative review. The act aims to reduce Taiwan's greenhouse gas emission in 2050 to half of the volume emitted in 2005. Besides reconfirming Taiwan's devotion to environment protection, the Act creates opportunities for green businesses including those from overseas. The Act envisages a cap and trade system to be adopted in three stages in Taiwan. The Act will be implemented in three stages :
1. Stage One
Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration shall audit emission of certain high emission industries. On September 14, 2015, the first set of industries to be audited were announced by the EPA : these include power plants, steel, concrete, semiconductor, petroleum refinery and other industries burning fossil fuel and emitting over 2.5 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
2. Stage Two
Taiwan EPA shall announce a list of “Emitters.” These Emitters must conduct annual accounting and register their numbers to their holding accounts. Every three years, the registered numbers shall be audited by a recognized Verification Body. Only internationally recognized Verification Bodies are qualified to perform such audits.
The EPA shall announce the greenhouse gas emission efficiency standard specific to each industry. At this stage, the Emitters are encouraged but not obliged to meet the efficiency standard. Those which meet the efficiency standard shall be granted with Efficiency Quotas. In parallel, an Offset Program shall be available for Emitters. Emitters may submit a proposal to the EPA describing its action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
3. Stage Three
The cap and trade system comes into effect. The total emission of an Emitter would be calculated as the sum of its actual emission minus its Efficiency Quota and Offset Quota. An emitter would be penalized for exceeding the total emission cap it is allotted. However, an emitter has the option of purchasing Efficiency Quotas from others to avoid exceeding its emission cap.
The timely passage not only paves Taiwan’s way to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015, but also creates great business opportunities for businesses skilled in art of greenhouse gas reduction.
At the end of 2015, the world turned the spotlight to Paris, where the ongoing 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“COP21”) was working on decisions to help human beings to control and slow down the trend of environmental deterioration in the next ten years, or twenty years or beyond. All the countries attended the conference adopted the Paris Agreement, which sets a goal of climate change control: to limit global warming to less than 20C compared above pre-industrial levels, to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions as soon as possible, and to achieve a zero net greenhouse gas emission during the second half of the 21st century.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. Under the Protocol, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. However, the Protocol also offers them an additional means to meet their targets by way of three market-based mechanisms.
The Kyoto mechanisms are :
The mechanisms help to stimulate green investment and help Parties meet their emission targets in a cost-effective way. The Kyoto Protocol is seen as an important first step towards a truly global emission reduction regime that will stabilize greenhouse gas emissions, and can provide the architecture for the future international agreement on climate change.
The carbon trade come about in response to the Kyoto Protocol. Signed in Kyoto, Japan, by some 180 countries in December 1997, the Kyoto Protocol calls for 38 industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions between the years 2008 to 2012 to levels that are 5.2% lower than those of 1990. Carbon trading provides a very obvious incentive for companies to improve their efficiency and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, by turning such reductions into a physical cash benefit.
Taiwan's outlying island of Kinmen has installed a new system of LED lamps for street lighting as part of the country's low carbon energy-saving efforts.
As the country government was awarded a grant by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Bureau of Energy to finance the plan, Sixty-nine automated LED lamps were installed on a section of the island's Huandao East Road, replacing the previous sodium and mercury street lamps.
It's considered as a pilot program for the use of LED technology, which will be expanded island-wide by 2014 in a project that is estimated to cost NT$365 million (US$11.87 million).
Reportedly, Kinmen was chosen as one of six low-carbon areas designated by the Council of Economic Planning and Development as part of a government energy-saving and carbon reduction program.
‧Taiwan enacted the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act on 1 July 2015
‧The Carbon Trade
‧Kinmen operates LED Street Lamps for Energy-saving and Carbon Reduction Program