TAKING ACTION: Differential pricing for carbon emissions by enterprises would be introduced in 2024 or 2025, as the nation strives to reach its goal of net-zero emissions
By Lee Hsin-fang and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer
The Executive Yuan yesterday approved a carbon pricing scheme to be imposed in phases starting with large emitters, with preferential rates granted to enterprises working to reduce their carbon output.
Although details are still being decided, the scheme would involve differential pricing to encourage emissions reduction, Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Tsai Hung-teh （蔡鴻德） told a news conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Phased implementation would begin with large emitters, meaning enterprises that produce more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon per year, Tsai said.
Other groups would be added successively after the initial law is passed, he added.
As for when the carbon fee would be introduced, Tsai estimated sometime in 2024 or 2025.
The scheme is included in sweeping amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act （溫室氣體減量及管理法） approved by the Cabinet yesterday, to be renamed the “climate change response act” if enacted.
The changes most notably seek to bring the law in line with the government’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
The act currently aims to cut emissions to less than half of 2005 levels by 2050, a target derided by climate activists as unambitious.
Premier Su Tseng-chang （蘇貞昌） lauded the passage as another milestone to commemorate Earth Day today, after President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） a year earlier marked the occasion by setting the carbon neutrality goal.
Recognizing the urgent need to amend the conflicting target in climate law, Su told attendees at a meeting of the National Council of Sustainable Development in August last year to expedite the process.
Yesterday’s approval and a net-zero emissions road map released by the National Development Council late last month “are not only the first step to completing a legal system to support climate action, but are also significant for their signaling and substance,” Su said.
He also highlighted other important additions to the law, including a special clause on adaptation to climate change, clarifying the sustainable development council’s role as coordinator and requiring local governments to convene climate response committees.
With an eye to economic concerns, apart from carbon pricing, the amendments also include provisions to develop talent and technologies to help combat climate change, he added.