The Climate Change Administration (CCA) of the Ministry of Environment, Taiwan’s first agency dedicated to confronting climate change, was officially inaugurated today (Aug. 22). The inauguration ceremony took place at the renovated Finance Building, where the Administration is now located. Dignitaries including Ministry of Environment Minister Shieu Fuh-sheng (薛富盛), Executive Yuan spokesperson Lin Tze-luen (林子倫), and former Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) ministers Chang Tzu-en (張祖恩) and Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥) were present to witness the birth of the new agency. This marks the commencement of a new era in climate action and a step toward realizing the national vision of “Net-Zero Sustainability & Resilient Homeland.
Minister Shieu offered congratulations on the inauguration of the CCA. The global pursuit of net-zero emissions is a goal that resonates among the government, businesses, and the entire population. Since the president’s announcement of the 2050 Net-Zero Transition Goals two years ago, the EPA has provided active support along with various ministries and departments, and the Executive Yuan has proposed the net-zero pathway, formulated the 12 Key Strategies, fostered public dialogues, and approved several action plans. With the establishment of the CCA today, it will play a crucial role in terms of regulations, systems, and governance. It will also provide full support in aspects such as research, organization, and funding as needed in order to successfully achieve net-zero emissions.
“Net-zero emissions is a formidable challenge,” Minister Shieu reiterated. From academia and research institutions to legal entities and large domestic enterprises, Taiwan has been trying to find climate solutions by actively engaging in research. In addition, Taiwan cannot turn away from the global trends. We must commit to participating in international climate actions and join hands with the world to combat climate change together.
Minister Shieu hopes that the CCA will continue to accelerate its efforts in regulations, systems, and governance, providing the industry with clear guidance. Achieving net-zero emissions in response to climate change cannot rely solely on government initiatives; it requires a fundamental shift in daily habits by every individual. Comprehensive education for the entire populace is also crucial. In the future, Taiwan will undoubtedly play a significant role internationally in achieving net-zero emissions in the realm of climate change.
Dr. Tsai Ling-yi (蔡玲儀), Director-General of the Administration, explained that 2023 is a pivotal year for Taiwan’s journey towards achieving net-zero emissions. In January, the “Climate Change Response Act” was passed in the Legislative Yuan after three readings. In April, the Executive Yuan approved the “12 Key Strategies” Action Plan and also gave the green light to establish the Preparatory Office of the CCA to accelerate relevant initiatives. Today marks a significant milestone in advancing climate change efforts. In face of restrictions imposed by the Organizational Act, the EPA’s organizational evolution began in 2008 with the establishment of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Management Office, followed by the creation of the Climate Change Office in 2021. With the support of the Executive Yuan, manpower for climate change-related tasks has gradually increased over the past two years. Going forward, there will be more proactive efforts to drive relevant initiatives.
In pursuing the vision of “Net-Zero Sustainability & Resilient Homeland,” the CCA will strive to accomplish five major tasks:
1.Enhance Climate Governance & Net-Zero Transition
“The Climate Change Response Act” has established a framework for climate governance. The Executive Yuan has also approved the net-zero pathway and the 12 Key Strategies Action Plans. However, what’s even more crucial is that the CCA will enhance both horizontal and vertical coordination and integration, facilitating collaborative efforts between central agencies and local governments to drive forward the net-zero transition.
2.Implement Inventory Management & Collaboration with Businesses for Carbon Reduction
Carbon inventory is fundamental to carbon reduction. Currently, many large corporations have established inventory capabilities. However, in Taiwan, there are numerous small and medium-sized enterprises. The CCA will expedite assistance to enhance their inventory capabilities and actively work with them to reduce emissions and achieve net-zero goals.
3.Promote Carbon Pricing & Reduction Incentives
Carbon pricing is a crucial global strategy to accelerate carbon reduction. Under the “Climate Change Response Act,” there are two main tools: one is to collect a carbon fee for dedicated purposes, and the other is to incentivize voluntary reduction through a quota trading mechanism. Both tools are meant to encourage businesses to actively reduce emissions and will help facilitate comprehensive national reduction efforts and the steady development of a low-carbon economy.
4.Increase Adaptive Capacity & Build a Resilient Taiwan
The latest phase of the National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan is currently undergoing review by the Executive Yuan. In the future, the CCA will reinforce science-based approaches and prioritize adaptation measures for vulnerable groups and community-based initiatives. This will contribute to the overall enhancement of Taiwan’s adaptive capacity in responding to climate change.
5.Involve Citizens in Climate Dialogue & Public Participation
Achieving net-zero emissions requires collaborative efforts from governments at all levels, as well as the participation of citizens, businesses, and organizations. This involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions, developing carbon-negative technologies, and promoting international cooperation. In order to limit the global temperature rise to within 1.5°C, we must provide a better environment for future generations. The CCA will work hand in hand with various sectors to build a resilient Taiwan and create a sustainable net-zero homeland.
- Ministry of Environment