By Ambassador Allen Chenhwa Lou
As the concentration level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rises and temperatures across nations reach record highs, it is clear that climate change is an issue that involves the whole world, an issue of no boundary.
Therefore, Taiwan has been proactively tackling climate challenges in their wakes, alongside other international partners toward the common goal of net-zero emissions.
Turning slogans into actions, Taiwan is planning to roll out ambitious climate reforms in 2024, with the introduction of carbon fees and other net-zero-oriented policies for private sectors. However, despite Taiwan’s continuous efforts of setting ambitious 2050 net-zero target and complying with international norms under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change, Taiwan is unable to fully engage the formal dialogue of climate actions. Such injustice is inconsistent with the global efforts of combating climate change, leaving a widening gap in the climate campaign.
Taiwan’s Contribution and Attempts to Join COPTaiwan’s potential and tangible contributions in fields such as capacity building, technology research, education, public health, and healthcare are note-worthy. Recently from spearheading the green transition in the Caribbean, assisting high-quality rice seed production in Indonesia, to ensuring adequate crop production in Thailand against climate change, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) has been actively involved with the climate actions. Taiwan has always tried to contribute where we can and share our best practices.
Taiwan’s Climate Actions in East AfricaTaiwan’s climate effort had also made its landfall in East Africa. In Kenya, TaiwanICDF partners with Terre des hommes Foundation (Tdh) to improve the access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene in ten health care facilities in Garissa County Kenya; In Uganda, Taiwanese NGO Love Binti International has received the carbon credit for more than a thousand acre of land donated by a Taiwanese benefactor, gearing toward promoting the environmental cause and establishing scholarship.
In Somaliland, Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland coordinated with Taiwan’s Forest Bureau of Council of Agriculture to fund Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) to ensure the biodiversity and to help the wild survive. TaiwanICDF also helps facilitate the volunteer program for CCF; In terms of food security for climate resilience, Taiwan Technical Mission in the Republic of Somaliland has assigned agricultural experts to improve the quality and quantity of fruit and vegetable, introduce high-quality seeds from Taiwan, and educate the store on extending the shelf life of produce; Taiwan also integrate NGOs’ resources for joint climate actions.
Taiwanese NGO Step30 International Ministries, known for donating used shoes to African children struggling for sand jiggers on their bare foot, had joined force with Taiwan Representative Office to fund Drilling & Equipping of K15(2) groundwater project in in Ged-deeble Somaliland. Moreover, Step30 is also involved in other borehole-drilling projects in East Africa countries such as Kenya and Uganda. From government agencies to non-government entities, Taiwan’s support for climate actions in Africa is tangible.
Taiwan, a Key Component to Global Climate ReformsIn this year’s COP28, Taiwan is again barred from participating in the global climate change conference. As a responsible member of the global community and a force for good in the world, Taiwan is ready to share our experiences and engage with friendly countries in East Africa, to identify risks and opportunities for tangible contributions to be made. Taiwan is committed to work with partners to develop climate resilience.There is only one world, and this is the only Earth we know. As the world confronts the mounting threat of climate change and scrambling to restructure our supply chains, “Denying Taiwan is to Deny Global Climate Reforms”.
The writer is the head of Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland