The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) plays a crucial role in addressing the pressing challenges posed by climate change. Therefore, COP 28 (28th annual Conference of the Parties) from November 30 till December 12, 2023 in Dubai will be substantially important to facilitate the implementation of UNFCCC.
However, Taiwan’s involvement in this international forum has been significantly hindered due to political considerations. Climate change does not discriminate, and mechanisms to address climate change such as the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement and COP meetings should not discriminate against Taiwan using diplomatic/political considerations. Like other countries, Taiwan ought to be given equal opportunities to participate meaningfully and constructively in UNFCCC for the benefit of all.
Despite its exclusion from the United Nations, Taiwan has consistently demonstrated its responsible existence in the international community by undertaking serious actions to combat climate change. In recognition of the urgent need for global cooperation in tackling this issue, and acknowledging the importance of addressing global warming, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen announced on February 15, 2023 the amendment and renaming of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, to become the Climate Change Response Act, making Taiwan the 18th country in the world to codify the 2050 net-zero emissions goal into law.
On July 19 this year, Taiwan hosted the first Pacific Climate Change Forum in Taipei, inviting representatives from the Pacific Island nations and like-minded countries to discuss climate adaptation issues. At the forum, Taiwan signed the first Joint Statement on Combating Climate Change with the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu.
Taiwan has accelerated its efforts to enhance government capacity. On August 22 this year, the Environmental Protection Administration was restructured to become Ministry of Environment. The Climate Change Administration and the Resource Circulation Administration were also established to integrate the handling of environmental issues, including climate change, resource circulation, chemical substance management, environmental quality management, and the strengthening of environmental technology research.
Likewise, Taiwan officially established the Taiwan Carbon Solution Exchange in joining the ranks of countries with carbon trading platforms. This initiative aims to create incentives for businesses within its jurisdiction to reduce their carbon emissions. Also, in response to the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and supply-chain decarbonization trends, Taiwan has accelerated efforts to implement carbon pricing and carbon inventory mechanisms.
As the global community strives to combat the existential threat from climate change, Taiwan’s unwavering commitment and numerous actions highlight the importance of including all stakeholders, irrespective of political status, to collectively address the challenges ahead. Taiwan’s innovative strategies and willingness to share its expertise and resources further demonstrate commitment to climate action; thereby, its exclusion in the ongoing 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in Dubai calls for further questioning.
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In this regard, the authorities in Nigeria are urged to commit to supporting Taiwan’s participation in the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) of the UNFCCC, holding in Dubai from November 30th through December 12th this year.
Andy Yih-Ping Liu is representative/ Head of Mission of Taiwan in Nigeria