Op-Ed: International Cooperation Needed to Achieve a Sustainable Future

By Director General Elliot Wang - Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta

Taiwan is helping lead the way towards creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable future for all mankind. Taiwan is one of the worldwide leaders in manufacturing and produces many of the superconductors and chips used in products we use everyday. Even with a focus on the traditionally high-polluting industry of manufacturing, Taiwan has solutions to help reduce its global carbon footprint. Taiwan is a perfect partner to share ideas with as the world works together to combat climate change.

Taiwan has enacted solutions that serve to lower the country’s environmental impact. Taiwanese manufacturers have begun to produce electric vehicles in great quantities. Foxconn, most famously the producers of the iPhone, have recently launched electric sedans, SUVs, and buses. Gogoro has created electric bikes and motorcycles that can already compete with traditional vehicles on the market at a lower cost to the environment. The United States and Taiwan have open markets that allow for electric vehicle production partnerships between manufacturers in Taiwan and the American southeast.

Developers have also molded Taiwanese cities to be ready for the transition to carbon-neutrality. People have access to walkable neighborhoods with easy-access public transit that encompasses the entire island. Production plants are rapidly shifting away from fossil fuels like coal towards cleaner renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Formosa One is one of the world’s first full-scale offshore wind farms and is far more energy efficient than previous iterations. Taiwan has passed binding legislation that ensures that the entire island will be carbon neutral by 2050 in accordance with the Paris climate agreement and Taiwan is on the path to achieving all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Taiwan strives to be an active partner in developing the ideas that will help humanity through this critical juncture. Yet despite this, Taiwan is being excluded from the critical dialogues that will shape the future of climate policy. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) does not allow Taiwan to be a member due to outside political factors. Climate change response requires courage, innovation, and cooperation. It is not justifiable to restrict Taiwan’s participation in the UNFCCC. Taiwan can help create the solutions for the future if you give us the opportunity to assist.

About the author:

"Director General Elliot Wang is a seasoned Taiwanese diplomat of over 20 years and has worked in Taiwan's representative offices in Washington DC and Brussels. Today he is the head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta."


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