Taiwan ready to help climate fight
Climate change has resulted in extreme weather conditions in Thailand, including prolonged rainy or dry seasons and frequent and more intense tropical storms and floods.
A series of climate challenges, like desertification, water scarcity and various kinds of pollution have accelerated the vicious cycle of environmental degradation across the world, since economic development has been prioritised over conservation in many cases.
As a member of the global village, Thailand is striving to combat climate change and protect the Earth, though it doesn't have to do this on its own.
Taiwan can lend a helping hand by offering improved weather forecasts and helping manufacturers become green, low-carbon enterprises.
However, Taiwan has been barred from participating in the Conference of the Parties held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) due to the current international situation.
Nevertheless, it continues pursuing means of making contributions to the international community. Taiwan has passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, setting long-term goals for the reduction of greenhouse gases, and has formulated National Climate Change Action Guidelines and a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Action Plan.
The Taiwanese government has also drawn up a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Emission Control Action Plan covering the country's energy, manufacturing, transportation, residential and commercial development, agricultural and environmental sectors.
With a clear roadmap for national carbon emission reductions, the key points of this plan include promoting energy transformation, helping industries become green and emit less carbon, developing green transport options and expanding the use of low-carbon vehicles, upgrading energy-saving design standards for the exterior of new buildings, helping livestock farms recycle biogas, and strengthening methane recycling from waste landfills and industrial wastewater.
Moreover, the approval of a Greenhouse Gas Control Implementation Plan proposed by local governments shows how Taiwan is responding to climate change collectively, from a central level to a local level.
Taiwan has made significant progress in developing a renewable energy sector in recent years, actively pursuing policies designed to reduce coal-fired power generation, increase the use of natural gas, and promote green development.
By 2025, Taiwan expects solar- and wind-power generation to produce 20 gigawatts (GW) and 6.9 GW of electricity per year, respectively, and is also launching numerous power-saving policies and actions under its forward-looking Infrastructure Development Programme and similar initiatives.
In terms of technological research and development, Taiwan's green technology policy covers energy development, energy storage, energy saving and systems integration, drawing on advanced materials, sustainable technology, advanced energy-saving, smart systems, and similar areas to engage industry with the fruits of research in the academic world.
According to Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, more than 10,000 extreme weather incidents occurred globally between 1997 and 2016, taking countless lives.
As the world continues facing a climate change crises, this global issue requires a global solution. This means every person, as a member of the global community, must join in and search for a solution.
It is unfair for Taiwan to be excluded from international organisations on the basis of political prejudice.
Our exclusion contradicts the spirit of climate conventions, which urge all nations to work together to combat global climate change, and overlooks the concept of climate justice emphasised in the Paris Agreement and the significance of calling on all nations to take action.
This breach of the UN Charter weakens our international framework and harms the entire world.
Taiwan is a responsible and sincere friend to the international community, and is ready to contribute.
Thailand has seized the opportunity of uniting efforts with Taiwan to combat climate change by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the Thailand-Taiwan Science and Technology Alliance for Innovation.
Taiwan and Thailand have thus created the possibility of taking collaborative action to harmonise industrial development and balance of the ecosystem. Concrete tasks of the MoU include solving problems related to air, water or transportation pollution and agricultural plights, for instance, with the latest technology of the Internet of Things.
Bilateral and multilateral collaborations allow Taiwan and Thailand to explore and seek solutions to current climate challenges.
Taiwan would be pleased to share our experience in good environmental governance, disaster prevention and early-warning systems, upgrading to energy efficient technologies, and high-tech innovation and its applications.
As Taiwan and Thailand are jointly striving to make the world a better place, it is believed that Taiwan, with Thailand's support, can surely be a valuable on combating climate change on a global scale.
Chang Tzi-chin is Taiwan's minister of the Environmental Protection Administration.