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  • Published: Nov 30th, 2009
  • Category: Asia
  • Comments: None

Taiwan mulls using company to purchase carbon credits

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Taiwan’s environment ministry is looking to set up a private company overseas that would facilitate Taiwanese companies’ purchase of “carbon credits.” That’s according to Environment Minister Stephen Shen, who was speaking on Saturday.

Carbon credits are a key component of international efforts to stop the increase of harmful greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. Developed countries can obtain these credits by helping developing nations reduce carbon emissions. One carbon credit is equal to one ton of carbon. That means that one carbon credit can offset the release of one ton of carbon into the atmosphere.

But Taiwanese companies are unable to purchase carbon credits because Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations due to pressure from China. Taiwan was therefore unable to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and will not likely be allowed to participate in any agreements that are discussed at the upcoming UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.

Environment Minister Stephen Shen says that China is not opposed to Taiwan’s use of a private company to engage in the purchase of carbon credits. That’s because, he says, it does not touch upon issues of sovereignty.

Shen said that he and foreign ministry officials had recently met with environment officials from the European Union, the UK and Germany. He said that the officials responded positively to the possibility of Taiwan setting up a company to handle the purchase of carbon credits. He said that US environment officials had also described the plan as “tricky, but workable.”

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