Vice President Lai Ching-te attended the “Carbon Neutrality: Key Solution — Negative Carbon Emissions Industry Summit and Inauguration of Taiwan’s First Carbon Negative Plant” in Taiwan on the morning of September 24. In his address, he stated that we must all do our best to combat climate change. Taiwan must transform challenges into power for advancement, adopt pragmatic plans and rigorous implementation, attain net-zero emissions by 2050, and become a steadfast pillar of support for the international community.
The Vice President also stated that he was pleased to return to his alma mater, National Cheng Kung University, to witness the establishment of Taiwan’s first carbon negative plant, which is a key milestone in Taiwan’s advancement toward the target of net-zero emissions by 2050. On behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen, he thanked everyone for their hard work and wished for success in the future operations of the plant.
The Vice President stated that Dr. Su Huey-jen, President of National Cheng Kung University, has governed the University well. She focused on education and R&D as well as fulfilling social responsibilities and helping the government promote policies, as exemplified in this carbon negative plant. In terms of the development of carbon negative technologies, Professor Chen Chuh-yung has always been dedicated to planning and implementing policies for Taiwan’s petrochemicals industry. His research extends from high-value petrochemical materials, circular economy, and materials to carbon recycling and reuse, and the achievements today were truly the results of hard work.
The Vice President stated that the inauguration of the carbon negative plant is significant for a number of reasons. First, the academia in Taiwan has kept pace with advanced countries in terms of the research and development of key technologies. Second, the industry, government, and academia can work together and the government can help the academia create industrial applications for the results of research and development. Third, Taiwan has actively adopted the latest technologies in both petrochemicals and high-tech industries to meet the target for carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Vice President emphasized that crises can be transformed into opportunities. If there are no changes in the world, Taiwan would have no opportunities. We must make use of every change in the world and transform the pressure for changes into power for Taiwan’s advancement. We need the courage and the resolve to overcome difficulties and help Taiwan achieve greater and more spectacular success in every challenge and win respect the of the international community.
The Vice President stated that according to the Sixth Assessment Report published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in August this year, evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, droughts, heavy precipitation, and tropical cyclones, and their attribution to human influence, has strengthened. Recent climate change events such as blizzards in Texas, floods in Zhengzhou, China, and no occurrence of typhoons in Taiwan in two years have also shown us that no individual person or country can avoid the impact and effect of these events. Every person must be held accountable for resolving these issues and achieving the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Vice President believed that it takes three major factors to solve the climate change crisis. First, we must be resolute. The international community has taken action and approximately 130 countries across the world have announced or are formulating new targets for net-zero emissions to actively reduce GHG emissions. President Tsai Ing-wen also announced on April 22, Earth Day, this year that Taiwan will also aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Vice President elaborated on the second point and said that we must formulate pragmatic policies. Under the guidance of the Executive Yuan, the government is now reducing carbon emissions through green energy expansion, increase in the use of natural gas, reduction in the use of coal, and zero nuclear. The government is actively evaluating and planning possible paths for Taiwan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 in energy, manufacturing, transportation, residential and commercial applications, and development of negative emissions technologies. Third, we must take concrete steps for implementation. The representatives of companies have shared their experience in different industries and the government must also leverage the capabilities of the academia to help industries reach the targets.
The Vice President concluded his speech by stating that if people in Taiwan could work together and during the COVID-19 epidemic with better results that other countries, we can also work together and put the energy we have accumulated in the past decades to good use, attain the target for carbon neutrality by 2050, and help Taiwan stand strong in the international community.
After the speech, the Vice President unveiled the plaque and participated in the proclamation ceremony with other distinguished guests.
Attendees included National Policy Advisor to the President Mr. Huang Hsien-chu, Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che, Academia Sinica President James C. Liao, MOEA Deputy Minister Tseng Wen-sheng, Legislator Lai Hui-yuan, and representatives of related companies.
Sources: Office Of The President