Published on April 26th, 2010 | by Scott James1
50 Low-Carbon Villages in Taiwan
This week Taiwan announced their intention to create 50 “low-carbon villages” by the end of 2011. According to Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency (TEPA), the plan is to recruit two or more village-level districts in each city or county each village to cut emissions using a range of tactics, from limiting car or scooter trips and promoting electric vehicles to requiring low-energy appliances and increased recycling programs. TEPA also plans to create 6 low-carbon cities by 2014.
“Villages should be able to cut power usage by at least 1 or 2 percent. We’ll see reductions for sure in 2010.” — Lu Hung-kuang, a TEPA executive secretary
The program is part of a nationwide plan to cut national emissions 30% by 2020 and return them to 2005 levels of 257 million metric tons per year and will be funded by central and local governments. In a larger sense, it is a proactive play to create an independent role for Taiwan as part of the U.N. 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Until now, China has blocked moves by Taiwan to be an independent participant in U.N. participant in climate change programs. Political tensions have eased lately, though, and China recently allowed Taiwan to observe at two World Health Organization annual meetings. Taiwan seems to hope that making ambitious, high-profile moves like their “low-carbon” village plan will grab attention and respect for their efforts. I hope it will inspire other countries and cities within the United States as well.