遠在70年代，愛爾蘭學者拉夫洛克(James Lovelock)的「蓋亞假說」(Gaia hypothesis)指出，地球有如一個能自我調控適應的生物母體，而人類則是該生物體的細胞或器官，是以母體能否永保安康，便端看這些「人類細胞」能否好好運作，抑或變異成為致命的「癌細胞」了。身為地球村成員，臺灣長期以來便認真而積極地為維護地球母體而努力，最近更藉由氣候變遷立法，納入長期減碳法定目標，展現願意與世人共同分擔溫室氣體減量義務，來維護地球生態永續的決心。這個努力，已經獲得歐美等先進國家之肯定。
目前，臺灣與世人同步關注聯合國氣候變化綱要公約(UNFCCC)諮商談判之發展，為回應「利馬氣候行動呼籲」(Lima Call for Climate Action)對於世界各國宣告承擔減量責任的倡議，已然依據「環境基本法」及「溫室氣體減量及管理法」，主動提出溫室氣體減量承諾「國家自定預期貢獻」(Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, INDC)，設定2030年溫室氣體排放量為依現況發展趨勢推估情境(business as usual, BAU)減量50%，相當於2005年排放量再減20%，這個目標可作為達成前述「溫室氣體減量及管理法」在2050年降至2005年排放量50%以下的階段性目標，充分展現我國積極減碳企圖心。
Because Taiwan is a part of Gaia
Minister Kuo-Yen Wei
Environmental Protection Administration
Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan)
During the 1970s, British scholar James Lovelock put forward the Gaia hypothesis, which proposes that the Earth is a self-regulating, complex system, and that human beings constitute one organ of this entity. The well-being of the planet is thus dependent on humankind’s ability to achieve an appropriate balance between economic and social development and environmental protection. As a responsible member of the global village, Taiwan has long been committed and proactive in its efforts to tackle climate change and ensure ecological sustainability. In just the past year, the government has put into law its long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target, which is a testament to Taiwan’s willingness to contribute to global efforts toward carbon reduction. Its measures in this regard have been recognized by European nations, the United States and other advanced countries.
On July 1, 2015, the government promulgated the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Management Act, the purposes of which are to provide a legal foundation for Taiwan’s long-term efforts to combat climate change, respond to the call for global measures on carbon reduction, and pave the way for policy planning and the investment of resources so as to expedite economic transformation and the development of a low-carbon society. The act empowers the government to take action on the implementation of national mitigation and adaptation strategies. By clearly articulating Taiwan’s long-term emissions reduction goal, defining the responsibilities of the central and local governments, laying out GHG targets over successive five-year periods, and providing a legal basis for the establishment of a GHG reduction and management fund, the law enables Taiwan to progressively build its emissions-cutting capacity so it can better respond to climate change and move into a low-carbon era.
In response to the Lima Call for Climate Action of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Taiwan has taken the initiative to publish its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), in accordance with its Basic Environment Act and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Management Act. As indicated in its INDC, Taiwan’s target is to achieve a 50 percent reduction from the business-as-usual scenario by 2030, which is equivalent to lowering GHG emissions to 20 percent below 2005 levels. This is an intermediary objective toward achieving the long-term target stipulated in the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Management Act, which is to reduce emissions to 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2050.
The long-term goal is ambitious yet achievable. Taiwan has already taken substantial actions to meet its mitigation commitments. These include the promulgation of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Management Act, Energy Administration Act, and Renewable Energy Development Act, as well as relevant policies, projects and programs implemented in accordance with these laws. These measures have been introduced to help businesses reduce emissions, accelerate the development of renewable energy and promote sustainable growth. In order to maintain national competitiveness, the government also plans to participate in international market mechanisms.
After years of efforts, international climate change negotiations have arrived at a critical juncture. At the upcoming 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, talks are expected to lead to a new climate change agreement that will encompass all signatories to the convention. The measures that Taiwan, as a part of Gaia, has thus far enacted underscore its commitment to meeting its obligations as a responsible global citizen, achieving meaningful participation in climate change accords, and creating a prosperous and sustainable world for future generations.