Archive for the ‘globalization’ Category

Taiwan and Kyoto

Sunday, January 9th, 2005

In an interesting article on Taiwan and the Kyoto Accord, the author lays out the reaction of Taiwan and especially Taiwan’s semiconductor industry to meeting greenhouse gas emission targets. Taiwan is often at the forefront of international agreements, even though it is not allowed to be part of the United Nations, because it wants to been seen as a global partner in these agreements. It also is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases.

Though a small country with just 23 million people, it is the world’s 14th-largest exporter, and some of its most successful exporting industries are major producers of greenhouse gases. And although Taiwan accounts for only about 1 percent of total world greenhouse gas emissions, its particular emissions have been rising exceptionally sharply—an estimated 70 percent in the 1990s, from 160 million to 272 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.


Taiwan’s main greenhouse culprits are the perfluorocarbon (PFC) compounds used in electronics manufacturing[, which] have a much stronger effect on climate than carbon dioxide, with warming potentials 5700 to 11 900 times as great. Accordingly, both the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA) and the Taiwan TFT-LCD Association (TTLA) have set goals to voluntarily reduce PFC emissions in the near future. They also have been working toward a shared consensus with their global trade counterpart organizations, the World Semiconductor Council and the World LCD Industry Cooperation Committee, respectively. For example, Taiwan has pledged to go along with a commitment by the World Semiconductor Council that its members should voluntarily reduce PFC emissions to 10 percent below their 1995 levels by 2010, though from a different baseline.

Additionally, the author alerts us to the fact that it has adopted a position to the opposite of the US.