Taiwan seeks India’s support in climate change dealSeptember 30th, 2009 - 2:45 pm ICT by IANS
By Manish Chand
New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) Spurred by improving relations with China, Taiwan, recognised by barely two dozen countries, is flaunting its eco-friendly polices to seek support of the international community, including India, to take part in the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December.
Taiwan can’t participate in the climate change conference convened by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), comprising 192 sovereign states, as it lost its UN seat to China in 1971.
But in a sign of new confidence buoyed by its growing economy, the 17th largest in the world, Taiwan is pulling out all stops to get international recognition as a responsible stakeholder in the global climate change debate. Taiwan has about 23 milion people and China claims its ownership.
“To safeguard her people against future disasters, Taiwan has taken many measures to mitigate global warming and yet it is not allowed to participate in the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen in December,” Wenchyi Ong, representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in New Delhi, told IANS.
“As a critical stakeholder, Taiwan could share its resources of weather data and facilitate better training of personnel engaged in monitoring changes in weather conditions,” Wenchyi said.
Early in September, Taiwan’s Premier Wu Den-yih made an impassioned plea for support from the international community for participating in the UNFCCC conference.
Lauding India for its “commendable and positive action” on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Taiwan sees New Delhi as “a critical player” in the Copenhagen summit that is expected to seal a deal to fight climate change after 2012, when the current period of the Kyoto Protocol runs out.
India follows the one-China policy and recognises Taiwan as a part of China. This has not prevented India from expanding its economic engagement with Taiwan, with bilateral trade exceeding $5 billion.
The climate change issue acquired a sharper focus in Taiwan after the catastrophic Typhoon Marakot in August that devastated the island and exposed its vulnerability to global warming effects.
To bolster its sales pitch, Taiwan is trying to impress the world community with its initiatives in expanding green and renewable energy, large-scale afforestation and pioneering technologies of recycling waste that is coordinated by an agency set up nearly two decades ago to promote eco-friendly policies.
In a sign of new pragmatism, Taiwan has shelved the more ambitious goal of UN membership in favour of “meaningful participation” in UN activities. It participated in the WHO governing body as an observer in May under the name Chinese Taipei, the first time in 38 years it had taken part in a UN event.
Taiwan has now set two realistic targets: getting an observer status at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and joining the UNFCCC under a name that is open to negotiation.
(Manish Chand can be contacted at email@example.com)
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