Taiwan Places Fifth to Last in Environmental Evaluation 台灣氣候評比列後段班 藍委籲派員溝通

Taiwan ranks 60th out of 64 countries in the annual Climate Change Performance Index released by NGO Germanwatch by citing wrong data. A lawmaker says the EPA should demand an apology.

Germanwatch ranked Taiwan fifth from last in this year's Climate Change Performance Index. Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration says it informed Germanwatch that its data was wrong and it needed to make corrections two to three days before the report was published. The EPA says it was ignored by Germanwatch and Taiwan will refuse to participate in future evaluations.

Chang Tzi-chin, Environmental Protection Minister: “If you keep doing whatever you want and using the wrong data to criticize us, then we will simply withdraw from your evaluation.”

According to the EPA, Taiwan ranked fifth from last because Germanwatch undercounted the island's population by at least three million and aggrandized Taiwan's carbon emissions. The EPA also says Germanwatch rejected its past invitations to visit Taiwan. In response to a suggestion that it should ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to use diplomatic channels to communicate with Germanwatch, the EPA said Germanwatch is a civic organization and it has always been able to contact the group directly in the past.

Chen Yu-jen, Legislator (KMT): “You haven't gotten a sincere response from them yet?”
Chang Tzi-chin, Environmental Protection Minister: “That's right. ”
Chen Yu-jen, Legislator (KMT): “What is our German representative doing? Apart from his dramatics over the national flag, does he do anything on our behalf? Are our foreign affairs agencies doing anything to help the EPA?” 

The EPA says Germanwatch's evaluation mechanisms are flawed, citing the example of TSMC's carbon emissions being counted as part of Taiwan's emissions. According to the EPA, TSMC supplies products all over the world, and its emissions should not be counted as part of Taiwan's emissions. In addition, it said Taiwan suffered in the per-capita emission category because it has a very small population compared to, for example, India. In response, Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Su Chiao-hui called on the EPA to demand a retraction from Germanwatch.

Su Chiao-hui, Legislator (DPP): “You can't beat someone up on a road and then apologize to them in an alley. You have to publicly issue a correction and publish our real figures.”

Many lawmakers shot down the EPA's plan to withdraw from future evaluations, saying the government should be more persistent and do a better job of communicating with international organizations. Meanwhile, DPP lawmakers called on the EPA to explain to the Taiwanese public that the government isn't doing as poor a job of reducing carbon emissions as the world thinks.