On 17 June 2021 Taipei Time, Taiwan EPA Minister Tzi-Chin Chang met virtually with Michael Regan, the USEPA’s new administrator, thanking his agency for its long-term cooperation and assistance. Minister Chang stated that staff training and technological exchanges laid the foundation for both countries’ positive collaboration, hoping the Taiwan-US partnership will continue and deepen.
The video conference was hosted by Chen-Chung Deng, Minister Without Portfolio of the Executive Yuan’s Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN). Participants from the USEPA included Administrator Regan and Acting Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida. Participants from the Taiwan side included Taiwan’s Representative to the US Bi-Khim Hsiao, Minister Chang, and corporate representatives from AU Optronics, Delta Electronics, China Steel Corp. (CSC), and TaiPower. Both sides addressed issues about climate change and environmental protection. They hoped to work together on climate change, children’s health, and environmental justice under the International Environmental Partnership (IEP) program.
The conference began with Administrator Regan’s introduction of US environmental policies, then went on with Minister Without Portfolio Deng’s remarks which mentioned the Biden administration’s emphasis on climate change and environmental production. He elaborated on Taiwan’s efforts in these areas in recent years. For example, CSC has actively promoted its five major green strategies and made great achievements in developing environment-friendly steel products, which contribute to energy conservation and carbon reduction from raw materials, production, final products, and customer utilization. It not only creates many business opportunities but also enhances its corporate social responsibility. Another instance is TaiPower, which has to develop green energy and smart grid and is even expected to venture into a carbon-capturing power plant that has immense business transformation capacity. All of these reflect the corporations’ determination and actions to lower their carbon footprints.
Afterward, Minister Chang noted that the IEP program, jointly promoted by the Taiwan EPA and the USEPA since 2014, has helped Taiwan and other countries to establish bilateral or regional cooperation as well as allowed Taiwan to be of help to the world. Regarding climate change, President Tsai Ing-Wen officially declared on 22 April that Taiwan would aim for zero-emission by 2050. Now the Executive Yuan is coordinating all ministries to research and assess potential access to zero-emission and also accelerating its communication with the private sector.
Many corporations in Taiwan voluntarily take part in many global carbon reduction initiatives. Delta Electronics participated in EV100 and RE100, both international initiatives on electric vehicles and renewable energy, becoming the first high-tech manufacturer in Taiwan that has promised to achieve by 2030 goals set by RE100. Furthermore, it leads enterprises in their own supply chain to jointly work on zero-emission. Meanwhile, AU Optronics has devoted itself to environment-friendly manufacturing by developing innovative technology and a circular economy. It has been on the constituent list of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, one of the world’s three major environment, sustainability and governance indices.
Minister Chang and Minister Without Portfolio Deng jointly expressed that Taiwan’s companies and the government are looking forward to enhancing bilateral relations with the US, and hoped that in the future, Taiwan and the US will form more partnerships in both the public and private sectors , cooperate in industrial low-carbon economy transformation and development, and work together to achieve the goal of environmental sustainability.
Sources: Environmental Protection Agency