Taiwan eyes carbon credits

TAIPEI, March 18 (AFP) - Taiwan aims to engage in international carbon trading despite its diplomatic isolation by helping its allies in Africa and the Asia Pacific develop clean energy projects, an official said Thursday.

"It is an international trend, and Taiwan wants to help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases to ease the effects of global warming," said an official at the Environmental Protection Administration.

Taiwan, which is recognised by only 23 countries and is not a member of the United Nations, plans to set up an offshore company so it can participate in carbon trading, the official said.

The UN's Clean Development Mechanism allows rich countries to fulfill part of their greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol by investing in projects that help reduce emissions in developing countries.

Since it is excluded from the UN, Taiwan is under no formal obligation to rein in greenhouse gases, but the new initiative signals its intention to act in a responsible manner nonetheless.

It intends to obtain carbon credits by promoting "green" technology, including solar energy plants or bio-fuel power plants, among nations in Africa and Asia Pacific that recognise it diplomatically, the official said.

The arrangement is one of the key features of the Kyoto pact on global warming, which expires in 2012. Nations gathered in Copenhagen in December did not succeed in hammering out a successor treaty on climate change as expected.

Taiwan is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol as it is not a UN member but it has pledged to abide by the treaty's terms.

The government has vowed to reduce the island's 2020 carbon dioxide emissions to 2008 levels.

MySinchew 2010.03.18