Sunday, December 30, 2007

Power firms sign emissions pact

On Friday ten private and public power companies signed voluntary agreements with the government to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12 million tonnes by 2015. Hopefully this is a sign of better things to come. Environmentalists have expressed concerns and understandably so. Taiwan hasn't really shown a desire to cut back emissions to early to mid 1990s levels at all. Talk has focused around 2005 levels and at best the 2000 level. For a country with a per capita emissions rate of three times the world average these proposals by the government and industry just don't make the grade and this isolationist type of thinking poses a real risk of internationally isolating Taiwan further as an emissions bandit as the nations of the world try and clean up.

Taiwan is developing industry that is going to increase the nation's CO2 emissions. Saying that a planned coal power plant that is going to be built was going to use 'technology a' and now it will be built using 'technology b' and that will save 'X' in emissions doesn't get around the fact that the coal power plant is going to be built and it is going to increase emissions.

A real effort to reduce power consumption needs to be made. A change in the nature of future planned industries needs to be considered and the need to change to more environmentally friendly and responsible industry needs to become the focus. Hushan Dam, Dadu Weir, more power plants, steel mills, and plastic plants are not the responsible way forward. Dressing up development that is going to increase greenhouse gas emissions is just greenwashing and sooner or later it will be exposed for what it is.

Also see: MOEA says emissions reduced at 4 local power plants

No comments: