Together with the European Institute for Asian Studies, the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium held a webinar, The EU Green Deal: Prospects for Taiwan-EU Circular Economy Cooperation." The event was hosted by Charles Huang, Director of Circular Taiwan Network, and ended on 16 June 17:00 Taipei time. Minister Zhi-Ching Chang, the Deputy Director-General of the EU Department of Environment Joanna Drake, and Member of European Parliament (MEP) Alexandr Vondra were invited to speak.
In his opening speech, Minister Chang talked about the close collaboration between Taiwan and the EU in the area of circular economy. Taiwan is currently working on the structure and regulations to promote recycling. As the EU aims to achieve carbon-neutrality in 2050, Taiwan is reviewing and formulating carbon reduction channels to reach zero emission by 2050.
Deputy Director-General Joanna Drake mentioned that Taiwan-EU's collaboration on circular economy which has lasted for years is the core of the conversation with bilateral exchanges as the future focus. Since the European Green Deal is the center of the post-pandemic recovery, she hopes to turn the climate and environmental challenges into opportunities to reach an all-win situation for society, the economy, and the environment. Then MEP Alexandr Vondra, in his speech, said that Taiwan is an ideal partner in the EU's promotion of circular economy because Taiwan is an important supplier in its technology industry, a highly developed county, and is also actively establishing its circular economy. Besides bilateral collaboration, Taiwan and the EU can expand such collaboration into the whole world.
Director Charles Huang pointed out that, as the linear economy can easily lead to profit privatization and result in the public footing the outer costs, a circular economy ought to be systematically established. This will help enhance resource values and utilization and promote product-sharing services. Everyone should together mitigate climate change and face challenges with cooperation models under a circular economy.
Several guests were also invited to speak at the seminar, including Kestutis Sadauskas, Director of Office of Circular Economy and Green Growth under the EU Department of Environment, Ing-Ing Lai, Director of the EPA Department of Waste Management, and Chien-Zhi Chen, Chairman of BenQ Materials Corp. These guests discussed and shared thoughts on issues like "Green Deal in the EU: New Circular Economy Action Plan," "Taiwan's Promotions and Methods in Circular Economy: In the Case of Plastic," and "Circular Economy and Green Transformation in Industries."
Director Sadauskas brought up the European Green Deal passed in March 2020, with which the EU expects to promote a green economy and develop sustainable technology by 2030 and increase the total GDP in the EU. The policy aims to ensure the minimum requirements in green public procurements so that products made of secondary materials become common in the market. Director Lai mentioned Taiwan's Resource Recycling Action Plan , which promotes recycling in production, consumption, waste management, and secondary product market. With plastic as an example, she cited the Plans promotion of reused plastic materials, reduction and recycling of plastic packaging in retail shops, and circular textiles. And lastly, Chairman Chen talked about the importance of industries' voluntary research of green materials, e-waste management and recycling, and corporate social responsibilities.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, July 2021
- Ministry of Environment