Extreme weather events are occurring more frequently worldwide due to global warming, and 2023 is on track to become the hottest year since the Industrial Revolution. The rise in Taiwan's average annual temperatures has accelerated over the past five decades, according to data from the Central Weather Administration. Between 1961 and 2020, the number of years with poor rainfall increased significantly, while the intensity and frequency of rainstorms have also increased.
On Oct. 4, the Executive Yuan approved the National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (2023-2026), which the central government will implement from various aspects to protect the lives of people and ensure sustainable development. The areas addressed include critical infrastructure, water resources, land use, the coasts and oceans, energy supply and industry, agriculture and biodiversity, as well as health and capacity building.
The action plan was laid out by the Ministry of Environment last year to boost Taiwan’s capacity to adapt to climate change. A review was conducted into related work by the 16 Cabinet-level units over the years for the drafting of the plan, which also referenced the latest scientific data gathered from home and abroad. In line with the Climate Change Response Act, the initiative pushes for a framework for mitigation measures and an interdepartmental platform, with a focus on developing Nature-based solutions.
A fund of NT$411.6 billion has been earmarked for investment in the plan’s 126 projects, among which 78 are existing items and 48 are new ones. It involves seven objectives: boosting the resilience of critical infrastructures;increasing climate adaptation capacity and stabilizing water supply; ensuring homeland security and strengthening integrated management; preventing coastal disasters and ensuring sustainable marine resources; improving energy supply and industry adaptability; sustaining agricultural productivity and preserving biodiversity; as well as bolstering medical and disease prevention systems and health risk management.
Measures will be implemented to improve the country’s adaptive capacity from environmental impact and help build resilience for vulnerable communities. The ministry will also introduce diversified strategies for urban and remote areas while enhancing water resource management. Progress of how the action plan has been carried out will be published and relevant agencies will revisit the plan on a yearly basis.
Climate change is an issue that goes beyond borders, disciplines, and departments. It requires the devotion of both the government and the people, and it must be addressed with the mindset of “Think globally, act locally.” Only in this way can society work to boost the overall adaptive capacity in a creative and coordinated approach.
- Ministry of Environment