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Net zero emissions: our common goal to combat climate change | Opinion

Net zero emissions: our common goal to combat climate change | Opinion

In a news article for the Daily Sabah published on October 21 titled “Turkey is expected to enact climate law this year,” the Minister of Environment, Urban Planning and Climate Change, Murat Kurum, was quoted as saying that Ankara is considering implementing a comprehensive law to combat climate change and is expected to pass Turkish parliament climate law this year.

It is clear that climate change is growing into an existential threat to the world and is creating uncertainty about sustainable development. As a member of the global village, Taiwan has also long been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has joined the global campaign to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels and to further reduce temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

When the European Union led the way by proposing a European Green Deal in 2019, the pledge to become carbon neutral with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 became a new goal for more than 136 countries. In response to the world’s fight against climate change, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen announced on April 22, 2021, Earth Day last year, that Taiwan plans a path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and in March this year, the Executive Yuan (the country’s highest administrative body) announced a publication Also Taiwan’s path to net-zero emissions in 2050 on the above-mentioned basis.

Turkey supports sustainable and environmentally friendly policies to reduce global warming. (Getty Images)

The Turkish government is also putting forward the same front, in order to speed up efforts to reduce carbon emissions, we have amended the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Law that was passed in 2015 and its name will be changed to Climate Change Response Law. This adjustment will make achieving net zero emissions by 2050 our long-term national target for reduction. The law will also provide economic incentives to reduce emissions, guide low-carbon and green growth, and contribute to complementing the foundations of national climate legislation and governance.

As the world’s 21st largest economy by GDP and a major manufacturer of semiconductors, Taiwan plays an important role in global supply chains, especially in high-tech fields; For example, the semiconductor industry has more than 70% of the global market share, which also means that our semiconductor industry occupies a pivotal position in international supply chains. We know that wherever there is economic activity, there is the problem of gas emissions. Therefore, in order to find a balance and reduce the impact on the environment, companies have introduced new technologies and new models, as well as promoting global energy conservation. Efforts by both the public and private sectors led to Taiwan’s GDP growth of 79% from 2005 to 2020, while its greenhouse gas emissions intensity decreased by 45%, showing that economic growth has decoupled from greenhouse gas emissions.

Turkey’s success is zero waste

We know that Turkey is accelerating its pace to combat climate change after the country’s parliament ratified the Paris Agreement last year. After the ratification, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan further announced on October 11, 2021 that the country now has a ministry focused on climate change, and renamed the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization to the Ministry of Environment, Urban Planning and Climate Change, which indicates the government’s will. Determined to solve the climate crisis and put the green development revolution at the center of its efforts. Moreover, First Lady Emine Erdoğan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signed a goodwill document to expand Turkey’s Zero Waste Project globally in a bid to reduce the volume of non-recyclable waste. The above efforts should be appreciated and encouraged.

Turkey is accelerating its pace to combat climate change after the Turkish parliament ratified the Paris Agreement last year.  (Shutterstock photos)

Turkey is accelerating its pace to combat climate change after the Turkish parliament ratified the Paris Agreement last year. (Shutterstock photos)

Both Taiwan and Turkey regard the sustainable environment and climate change impact reduction as key national issues, thus we have not only helped implement the “Urban Sustainability Program for Green Cities” in both the metropolitan municipalities of Ankara and Istanbul through the “Business Cooperation Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development” Taiwanese”. Starting in 2021, he also contributed to the planting of 30,000 Turkish pine (Kyzilkam) seedlings in Kahramanmaras province in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture to help deal with the problem caused by climate change.

Taiwan has been excluded from international organizations and cannot participate substantially in discussions on global climate issues for political reasons. Thus, it is difficult for Taiwan to keep pace with current developments and properly implement the relevant tasks, which will create gaps in global climate management. Taiwan has limited independent energy sources and an economic system geared to foreign trade. If Taiwan cannot link up with the international cooperation mechanisms under the Paris Agreement, it will not only affect the process of greening Taiwan’s industries, but also undermine the stability of international supply chains and the global common goal of achieving net zero emissions.

Moving to net zero emissions

The world has embarked on the transition to net zero emissions. However, as the International Energy Agency just stated in its latest annual report, it believes that global energy emissions will peak in 2025. In addition, a new United Nations report on climate change also shows that although we bend the curve of greenhouse gas emissions Global down, these efforts are still insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of the century, which means we still need to do more to tackle climate change and invite more countries to join.

Confronting such a global issue requires all stakeholders in the international community to work together. Taiwan, as a responsible member of the global community, is willing and able to cooperate with international partners to jointly achieve a net-zero transition, mobilize global climate action and ensure a sustainable environment for future generations.

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