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Founding of Preparatory Office of Climate Change Agency on Earth Day 2023

April 22, 2023

The Preparatory Office of the Climate Change Agency held an unveiling ceremony at 10 am on Earth Day (April 22nd) today. Premier Chen, Chien-Jen, Secretary General Li, Meng-Yen, Minister without Portfolio Lo, Ping-Cheng, and other distinguished guests attended to witness the important milestone of the key launch of Taiwan’s climate change action.

Chang, Tzi-Chin, the Minister of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), stated that the draft of the “Ministry of Environment and Affiliated Third Level Agencies Organizational Act” has received preliminary support from the Legislative Yuan, completed the initial review by the committee and entered the negotiation stage. It is hoped that it will be passed during this session. Due to the rapid growth of business after the "Climate Change Response Act" was promulgated and implemented by the President on February 15th this year (2023), an approach in one stroke was adopted first to establish the “Preparatory Office of the Climate Change Agency (the POCCA)” to supplement the manpower required for urgent business and follow the preparatory work of the Climate Change Agency.

Premier Chen, Chien-Jen stated that establishing the Preparatory Office of the Climate Change Agency (POCCA) is a key to Taiwan's climate change action. It declares the determination to achieve net zero emissions and marks a milestone in industrial transformation and sustainable national development. Premier Chen cited the previous drought in central and southern Taiwan. Still, the impact was reduced due to the advanced deployment, showing "God helps those who help themselves" and the importance of early responses to adaptation. The work of the POCCA will make Taiwan more resilient to climate change. As for carbon fees, Premier Chen emphasized that carbon fees are related to the international competitiveness of industries. The Executive Yuan will urge various ministries to assist actively.

My colleagues and I are all very excited at this moment!" Minister Chang said in his speech. He emphasized that climate change is a severe global challenge. In 2021, President Tsai, Ing-Wen clearly stated that Taiwan is in line with the world and aims to achieve net zero transformation by 2050. In the past two years, Taiwan has proposed the planning for a net-zero emissions pathway and completed the Climate Change Response Act. We have incorporated the net-zero emissions goal by 2050 into law and provided clear regulations for climate governance, climate change adaptation, carbon pricing promotion strategies, and facilitating public participation.

In response to concerns from all parties about when the details of subsequent investigations and carbon fee mechanisms will be released, Minister Chang also stated that the global response to climate change is very fast. For example, the European Union's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will be implemented in October this year, and the requirements for carbon reduction in supply chains are accelerating. Therefore, before the reorganization of the Ministry of Environment, it is necessary to establish the Preparatory Office of the Climate Change Agency to increase manpower and ensure that various branch laws of the Climate Change Response Act, carbon inventory, carbon fee collection, climate change adaptation, and other work can be promoted as scheduled.

"Carbon fees are economical means rather than fiscal tools." Minister Chang explained that the carbon fee, which is of most concern to all parties, is collected to promote substantial carbon reduction rather than focus on the amount collected or even cause cost pass-through. The EPA is currently planning accounting and charging mechanisms, scheduled to present a draft for discussion to the public in the second half of the year. The review committee will discuss the amount of carbon fee collection in the first half of next year. It will begin to be collected in the second half of the following year. This progress will be in line with the CBAM timeframe.

For better preparation work and to foster smoother linkage with the “Climate Change Agency, Ministry of Environment,” the Preparatory Office has designated four sections: Comprehensive Planning Section, Emissions Management Section, Emissions Reduction Promotion Section, and Adaptation Resilience Section, with a total of 14 sub-sections. In addition to the 48 personnel transferred from the EPA Office of Climate Change, the workforce will continue to be supplemented to 84 people.

The director of the Preparatory Office of the Climate Change Agency, Tsai, Lin-Yi, stated that the primary work of the Preparatory Office is to draft supporting laws and regulations for the Climate Change Response Act, such as enforcing the carbon fee collection scheme, monitoring the promotion progress of periodic regulatory goals in all sectors, managing and evaluating the progress of all sector’s net-zero pathway, and preparing response measures for the upcoming CBAM by the Europe Union.

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