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Ministry of Environment to Be Established with Expanded Duties to Take Full Responsibility for Environmental Governance

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The EPA stated that the purpose of the organizational adjustment planned by the Executive Yuan to establish the Ministry of Environment is to expand the scope of duties, change the concept of environmental quality management from pollution control to prevention management, and plan overall environmental improvement strategies with forward-thinking, align with environmental scientific research, and turn passivity into activeness to systematically deal with environmental problems.

The EPA has listed the added duties planned for the future Ministry of Environment and plans to integrate the management of chemical substances, industry waste reuse, and other powers in order to improve management efficiencies. The integration will also solve the problem of dividing management powers and responsibilities among different ministries, which can lead to problems integrating and coordinating scattered expertise and information. It is hoped that the future Ministry of Environment will operate with higher overall organizational efficiency and comprehensively take on the responsibilities of environmental governance.

The EPA explained that the planned establishment of the Ministry of Environment involves establishing four level-3 administrative agencies (including the Climate Change Administration, Resource Circulation Administration, Chemical Substance Management Administration, and Environmental Management Administration) and a level-3 institute (National Environmental Research Institute). Through the expansion and coordination of duties, the Ministry is expected to achieve the following five grand visions:

  1. Actively respond to climate change by strengthening the formulation, promotion, and implementation of national policies; implement the supervision and evaluation of the phased control targets; respond to international carbon tariff and the decarbonization trend of supply chains; accelerate carbon pricing, strengthen the carbon inventory system, and seek decarbonization technologies and strategies; mitigate international pressure and assist domestic industrial transformation

2. Implement circular economy, waste reduction, and reuse through coordinating reuse management powers and responsibilities of all ministries and collecting funds for the promotion of resource circulation, renewable energy from waste, and inventory and analysis of waste resources. Promote new measures such as circular procurement, sustainable consumption, and environment-friendly design of products to achieve the reduced use of primary raw materials and improve resource use efficiencies so as to reduce environmental load and gradually advance towards the goals of sustainable resource circulation and zero waste.

3. Expand the scope of chemical substance management to cover all chemical substances handled in Taiwan to achieve the goals of “extending source management to borders and reducing breakpoints to deter violation,” “integrating disaster prevention resources and strengthening responses to reduce disaster losses,” “fully conveying hazard information to reduce exposure to health risks,” and “transforming to sustainable and non-toxic use of resources to align management with international conventions.”

4. Strengthen environmental law enforcement with digital technologies; use smart technologies and the internet to handle general waste in diverse ways; and improve environmental cleanliness and sanitation management. Sustainably manage soil and groundwater resources through improving the certification system of surveying and remediation technologies and increasing soil and groundwater regeneration and carbon sink capacities. Strengthen pollution source control to build low-risk living environments and develop healthy and sustainable communities.  

5. Promote research for climate change and resource circulation, improve environmental risk assessment and management technologies, facilitate net zero transformation and cultivate professional talents, and work with research resources nationwide to establish an environmental think tank to provide long-term and stable support for overall national environmental policies. 

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, July 2022

Ministry of Environment