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A call for Taiwan’s professional, pragmatic and constructive participation in the UNDCCC

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Commentary

Taiwan-8921Global warming and climate change affect all of mankind and the sustainability of the world we inhabit.

 

For the past 23 years, the UNFCCC has called for the widest possible cooperation by all countries in the fight to avoid the devastating consequences.

 

Yet the government of the R.O.C. (Taiwan), and the 23 million people it represents, still does not have proper access to the meetings of the Conference of Parties. 

 

Nonetheless, Taiwan has never used this as an excuse to shirk its responsibilities as a stakeholder in the international community. 


Taiwan has set an ambitious GHG reduction target

In June 2015, Taiwan took the concrete step of passing the landmark Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, officially enshrining into domestic law the goal of cutting carbon emissions to 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2050. 

 

In response to the Lima Call for Climate Action, Taiwan also voluntarily announced its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution in September 2015, committing to reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent from the business-as-usual level by 2030. 

 

Taiwan understands that the issues associated with climate change are inextricably linked to the world’s sustainable development, and has just released its first voluntary national review of progress in achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

 

Climate change knows no boundaries and requires across-the-board cooperation. Taiwan has as much of a stake in combating climate change as any other country, and urgently calls on the international community to support its bid to participate in the upcoming 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties, in Bonn, as a nonmember government observer under the name of its Environmental Protection Administration. 

 

Taiwan is ready to contribute more to the UNFCCC 

Taiwan is known for its expertise in developing green technology. Over the decades, Taiwan has undertaken numerous cooperative projects with developing countries in a wide array of fields related to climate change. Taiwan has also worked with the US to manage the environment and reduce pollution through projects, research, and knowledge exchange. In 2014, Taiwan’s EPA officially launched the International Environmental Partnership, a network of experts from around the world working together to strengthen capacity to address environmental issues. 

 

Taiwan’s participation is a matter of climate justice

The Paris Agreement highlights the important concept of climate justice, calling on all states to take action to address climate change. It is unjust that Taiwan, a densely populated island exposed to extreme weather events, as well as the world’s 21st-largest carbon dioxide emitter, is excluded from the UNFCCC and left to deal with the impacts of climate change on its own. The people of Taiwan are eager to participate in the global climate regime. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s inclusion in the UNFCCC process conforms to the purpose and spirit of the convention, which acknowledges that “the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation,” as well as to the principles embodied in the UN Charter. 

 

Conclusion

The 23 million people of Taiwan have the right, the ability, and the willingness to contribute to efforts to ensure our planet’s sustainable development. We therefore call on all parties concerned to look beyond political considerations, and support Taiwan’s professional, pragmatic, and constructive participation in the UNFCCC.



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