- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties 15 will be held in Copenhagen in December. President Obama’s address on climate change during the most recent session of the U.N. General Assembly is encouraging - no matter what challenges he may need to overcome on Capitol Hill to carry out domestic reform. (“Chinese climate plan upstages Obama at U.N.,” Page 1, Sept. 23).

The reason is evident: We have only one Earth, and we must work together to maintain a sustainable environment. If the United States and China, as two major energy-consuming countries, are able to make serious and concerted efforts quickly enough, the prospects of reversing the catastrophic impacts of climate change are promising.

It is equally important that no nation in the world be excluded. An ambitious climate agreement is expected to be concluded for 2012, when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires. However, among the 192 member nations of UNFCCC, Taiwan is absent - despite of the fact that the island is one of the leading economies in the world, a thriving democracy in East Asia and willing to commit to reducing its carbon emissions proactively.

The negative effect of climate change should not be ignored. In August, Taiwan suffered from Typhoon Morakot’s devastating and record-breaking rainfall, exceeding 100 inches in less than one day. More than 600 people were killed, and the property damage is estimated to have reached billions of dollars. Participation in the UNFCCC would provide Taiwan with access to more diverse sources of international climate-monitoring data and provide for better training of personnel. This would enable Taiwan to contribute further to an international cooperative framework on addressing the problem of climate change.

VANCE CHANG

Press division

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.

Washington

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