On 12 May 2020, at an EPA press conference at Taipei 101 on the Public and Private Sector Collaboration on Carbon Emission Reduction in the Residential and Commercial Sectors, the EPA pledged to reduce carbon emissions by working jointly with the civic sector. The Department of Environmental Protection of the Taipei City Government also participated in the press conference to recognize the achievements in carbon emission reduction and energy conservation of Taipei 101. The carbon offset project proposed by Taipei 101 management passed a review by the EPA on 20 March 2020, and it completed the registration process in April. This is the first offset project implemented by the residential/commercial sector and it is estimated that it will reduce emissions by 2,718 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). Taipei 101 and the Taipei City Government can also apply for reduction credits subsequent to the implementation of the project.
EPA Minister Tzi-chin Chang stated that Taiwan is devoted to energy saving and carbon emission reduction and is one of the few countries in the world that has written greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals into law. Emissions growth in Taiwan has slowed owing to the joint efforts of every government department. However, there is still a small gap to be crossed to reach the Phase 1 emissions control goal of a 2% reduction of domestic GHG emissions by 2020. The Phase 2 goals aim to reduce emissions by 10%. Minister Chang pointed out that even though emissions from the manufacturing sector make up 52% of total emissions, the residential/commercial sector still accounts for 20%. Hence, the EPA has reviewed and simplified the application procedures for micro-scale offset projects to encourage participation of the residential/commercial sector.
According to the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection of the Taipei City Government, Ming-lone Liou, the main source of carbon emissions in Taipei City is from the residential/commercial sector. Due to its hard work to promote energy conservation in this sector, among Taiwan’s six major cities, Taipei City is the only one that has accomplished a reduction in electricity use for three years in a row, equaling 2.58% of energy saved. With Taipei 101 leading the way, the commissioner anticipated more residential/commercial properties will participate, and he encouraged other department stores in Xinyi District to follow suit and make the district a center for carbon reduction.
Commissioner Liou indicated that Taipei 101 not only achieved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status as a green building but also assisted the Department of Environmental Protection of the Taipei City Government with air quality monitoring. Taipei City will receive 50% of the reduction credits from this offset project, which can be used to offset the carbon footprint produced in international events in the future.
Taipei 101 President Angela Chang stated that Taipei 101 has been selected as one of the “50 Most Influential Tall Buildings” in the world, hence it has the corporate social responsibility to take the lead in environmental protection. Taipei 101 management started with disclosing the building’s carbon footprint and worked with the government to come up with feasible emission mitigation measures. This time, Taipei 101 voluntarily launched the offset project in support of government policies, which makes it the first micro-scale offset project implemented by the residential/commercial sector. The reduction credits earned can also be used for the New Year fireworks shows.
To promote emission reduction in the residential/commercial sector, the Department of Environmental Protection of the Taipei City Government also assisted Taipei 101 to apply to be the first of the residential/commercial sector micro-scale offset projects. Being an iconic establishment in the residential/commercial sector, Taipei 101 not only conducted a voluntary GHG inventory, but also disclosed information on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) report. To further reduce emissions, Taipei 101 formulated a new plan last year that entails the replacement of lighting systems in its underground parking lot with 2,841 LED light bulbs. The plan is estimated to save 7.7% of electricity per year, or 510,000 kWh of electricity.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (6)
- Ministry of Environment