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Taipei City Receives an “A” score in CDP’s Cities A List 2019

As climate change makes more significant impacts, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction has become a mutual goal around the globe. Being the capital of Taiwan, Taipei City has taken the lead in achieving GHG emission reduction to play our part in the global movement. CDP announced on Feb. 18, that Taipei scores an “A” in CDP’s 2019 annual ranking, marking its second A List City title in a row, which indicates that Taipei has received worldwide recognition for its climate action.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) commented that CDP is an international non-profit organization founded by wealth management companies such as Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC. Taipei has taken the initiative to disclose the city’s climate and environmental data to CDP since 2011.

According to CDP, just 7% - 43 out of 596 cities score an ‘A’ for cutting emissions and setting climate strategies in 2018. Taipei is the only city in Asia to receive A rating and be featured in a dedicated story on the CDP website. This year, Taipei remains one of the 105 cities that received an ‘A’ score among over 850 participated cities.

The global trends in greenhouse gas emissions management suggest that nations are frequently challenged by the uncertain factors like barriers to international climate agreements. Additionally, global emissions reductions have been shifted from national to local government level given that megacities are the biggest emitters of CO2, making city level action the backbone of mitigation policies. The increasing numbers of countries participating CDP’s 2019 annual ranking can be seen as the sign of city’s vital role in tackling climate change allows it to mobilize more resources to reduce emissions and adapt to its current effects. The promotion of cities’ successful actions brings out competitive advantages and the sustainability at its best and of the nation. Cities on the front line for climate action ensure better transparency and open government that drive to achieve climate security.

DEP commented that since Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act got promulgated on July 2015, Taipei City Government has set goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 and 2050, respectively, in December the same year, with regard to Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act and the signing of San Francisco Urban Environmental Accords in 2005. After full implementation of all measures to cut carbon emissions, DEP has finished 2018 GHG emission inventories with verification by third party, BSI Taiwan (British Standards Institution Taiwan). Taipei’s energy consumption has reduced 960 thousand metric tons (i.e. 7.3%), which can be explained that its long-term implementation of GHG reduction strategies have shown signs of success.

Analysis indicated that the economy of Taipei City is based primarily on the service industry. Residential and commercial sectors contribute 75% of GHG emissions while transportation sector accounts for 20%. It is noted that energy consumption results in 70% of emissions, according to a 2018 greenhouse gas inventory report. Therefore, Taipei City has placed energy-saving at the center of its energy policies with an emphasis on residential and commercial and transportation sectors. The highlights of Taipei’s implementation of emissions reduction lie in “prioritizing energy saving, enhancing energy efficiency and accelerating the low-carbon transition”. The City Government has implemented Promotion of Residential and Commercial Energy Saving Project since 2018, and has subsidized replacement of lighting, air conditioning equipment, domestic refrigerator, and adoption of energy management system for service industries, health facilities, communities, hotels, and schools. Statistics showed that equipment replacement has the best outcome among all strategies. Meanwhile, total energy consumption in 2018 declined by 197 million kWh (equivalent to 431.8 thousand metric tons of CO2) as compared to 2017. In transportation sector, besides continuous optimization of public transportation system, promotion of shared transport and expansion of public bicycle system have also been implemented to be in line with Taipei Clean Air Action Plan 2.0, which focuses on three elements, “Low Emission Vehicle”, “Green Transportation”, and “Regional Cooperation” and aims to create an environment that is better for electric vehicles by introducing measures such as deploying electric buses, rolling out old diesel vehicles and 2-stroke scooters in order to reduce GHG emissions.

Embarking on “Global Perspective˙Taipei Action”, Taipei City will continue to achieve climate action goals in line with the global trend of sustainable development, and to move toward carbon neutrality.