An Invitation to Join the Dec. 8 March in Taipei Against Climate Change

Representatives from 190 nations are meeting in Bali this month for an inter-governmental meeting on a new agreement to reduce global warming that will replace the Kyoto Protocol after it expires in 2012. With the entire international community expressing serious concern over this issue, Taiwan must not be absent. Thus, in addition to sending representatives to attend the Bali meetings, Taiwan organizations have organized a Taiwan part of the "1208 Anti-climate change march for the future generations".

Taiwan, must take a greater share of the responsibility for global warming, because with only 0.36 percent of the world's population, we are emitting 1.12 percent of the global gases, exceeding the per capita emissions of Japan and Germany. If the projects currently proposed by the government, such as the Formosa Plastics Steel Plant, the Eighth Naptha Cracker in Yunlin, and a multitude of coal and gas fired power stations, go ahead as the government proposes, our emissions will exceed those of 2005 by more than 10 percent.

If the Taiwan government and businesses continue to hide behind the excuse that "Taiwan is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and therefore not bound to take the action mandated by the agreement" and fail to take measures to reduce our greenhouse emissions, we may well end up in the situation we found ourselves in the 90s, where foreign governments sanctioned Taiwan for trade in rhinocerous horn for medicine, even though Taiwan is not a member of the Washington Treaty (CITES).

That is to say, the threat of international sanctions are real and likely if Taiwan continues to act as a global-warming rogue nation, a risk that we can not afford to take as a nation so dependant on an export economy.

Being against global warming is not tantamount to being opposed to economic development. However, we must be wary of those in government and business who would keep us in the dark ages of heavy industrial development, and make sure our citizens know the facts. Currently our high-energy use industries such as steel, petrochemical, cement and paper, consume 33 percent of our nation's energy, yet they contribute a paltry 7 percent to our GDP. Our energy efficiency is far below what one expects from a developed country and this has forced the government to continue to grant huge subsidies to highly polluting industries. We are playing Russian roulette with the resources that belong to future generations, a brutal example of intergenerational crime.

The first step in addressing this situation is to set a cap on emissions, and then based on that cap, set out a program and timetable for reduction that would include a carbon tax and requirements that businesses come up with a timetable for reductions, while the nation conducts a staged phase-out of outdated and economically inefficient industries. This staged transition will enable us to move toward a low carbon economy. As a specific measure, we assert that the draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act that is currently before our legislators have a clear national emissions reduction goal and timetable.

In the area of transportation there must be an overhaul of our public transit systems, as well as the introduction of a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian path network to replace the construction of large-scale highway infrastructure projects. We must reduce and streamline all public construction, work towards a return to simplicity and the values of slowing down, placing a premium on quality of life rather than quantity of consumption.

If we can clearly demonstrate our demand to confront the issue of global warming, we are confident that the legislators will hear our message and will work to quickly pass the Global Gas Reduction Act with a clear mandate for a set goal for emissions reduction and a clear timetable. Only by making our voices heard do we stand a chance that the candidates from both of the major political parties, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party, will ignore the lobbyists from the entrenched and highly subsidized business interests, and start discussing their environmental policies.

December 8th is the time for Taiwanese and foreign friends living in Taiwan to show our determination, to show we care about the future generations, to show we care about our own environment. Please come out and join us in the march where we will demand that politicians face the inconvenient truth about the dangers of global warming, demand that concrete measures be taken, so that our nation has a chance of regaining her beauty and freedom from fear, greed and oppression by government and business coalitions.

Our Seven Demands for 1208:

1. Legislate carbon reduction: pass the Global Gas Reduction Act with specific caps, reduction goals and timetables

2. Responsible business: all businesses doing more than NT$200 million a year shall come up with a concrete emissions reduction plan

3. Low carbon economy: terminate the expansion of all energy intensive industries, begin the transition to a cradle to cradle industrial structure

4. Green transportation: comprehensive mass transit system and bicycle, pedestrian footpath network

5. Natural environment: transition out of the cement mentality; protect natural areas and the coastlines

6. Organic life: all people have the right to clean air, clean water and healthy food

7. Intergenerational justice: spare no effort to save the resources needed for the sustainability of future generations

The demonstration and march will begin at 1 pm on 8 December 2007. We will gather at the Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall in Taipei (Guangfu S. Rd. corner) and will proceed from the Sun Yatsen hall to Jhongsiao (Zhongsiao/Chunghsiao) East Road to Songren Road (China Petroleum Building) to Songshou Road to Songjh (Songzhi) Road (Taipei 101) to Sinyi (Xinyi) Road to Shihfu Road to Renai Road and back to the Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall. It is estimated the march will take around 1 and 1/2 hours. The demonstration is estimated to conclude by 5 pm.

Organizers: Taiwan Environmental Protection Union, Homemakers Foundation, Taiwan Academy of Ecology, Society of the Wilderness, Taiwan Trails Association, Taiwan Nature Trail Association, Taiwan Environmental Action Network, Taiwan Green Party, Taiwan Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association

For more information please email tweco.1208@gmail.com

Or call 02-23644756 or see the following websites:

Anti-Global Warming Taiwan Site (Chinese)

Eco (Chinese)

Global Climate Campaign

http://www.campaigncc.org/

Chinese address and details:

【遊行時間】2007年 12月8日(六)【集合時間】13:00
【集合地點】國父紀念館(光復南路口)【執行單位】1208台灣抗暖化大遊

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