The Paris Agreement or Paris Climate Accords is an international treaty on climate change. It was adopted in 2015 and came into force on November 4, 2016. Currently the European Union and 192 states have signed the treaty and have pledged to, among other things, work towards holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2° Celsius (preferably 1.5° Celsius) above pre-industrial levels.
In order to meet the global warming abatement goals set forth in the Paris Agreement, the majority of the scientific community believes human beings must reduce our net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero (i.e., achieve net zero) by the middle of this century. Achieving net zero requires reducing emissions as much as possible as well as offsetting any remaining emissions by removing an equivalent amount of emissions through natural environmental absorption (e.g., reforestation and other natural means).
Due to Taiwan’s delicate political situation, it is not a signatory to the Paris Agreement. Despite not being a signatory, Taiwan has always been an active participant in the fight against climate change. In 2015, Taiwan introduced its Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act and became one of the few countries which statutorily mandated targets for greenhouse gas reduction. In response to the ever-worsening climate change situation and the international community’s increasingly urgent call to action, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration announced that the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act would be amended and renamed the Response to Climate Change Act (氣候變遷因應法) (the “Climate Change Act”).
Through the Climate Change Act, Taiwan has committed to:
- becoming net zero by 2050;
- strengthening carbon emissions regulations for the industrial, transportation, and construction sectors;
- collecting carbon emission fees to be used for greenhouse gas reduction projects;
- designating the National Council for Sustainable Development as the national body responsible for implementation of the Climate Change Act and coordination of local government efforts in addressing challenges of climate change; and
- promoting “Low Carbon” labels to allow businesses to communicate to consumers that their goods and services are the product of low carbon emission processes.
To do our part to reduce emissions and control climate change, Winkler Partners established our Green Office program. Through this program we measure our carbon footprint and continually evaluate ways to reduce it. Currently, the firm has an office-wide air-conditioning use policy, purchases low-energy or energy efficient appliances, and operates as paperless as possible. Winkler Partners became net zero in 2020 and was certified net zero in 2021 by the British Standards Institution.
Winkler Partners looks forward to the impact of the Climate Change Act. We believe the Climate Change Act and similar laws will benefit not only our planet but will also bring new business and investment opportunities. If you have any questions or require additional information on our Green Office program, the Climate Change Act, or related initiatives or investments, please contact Greg Buxton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written May 5, 2022 By Gregory A. Buxton, Bryan Tan, Ming Teng.