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LCI Delegation Meeting with Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te

LCI Delegation Meeting with Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te
On 29 April 2015, the ECCT' Low Carbon Initiative has a delegation of 20 representatives travelled to Tainan to meet with Tainan City Mayor Lai Ching-te and nine senior government officials including the governmet's Deputy Mayor, Deputy Secretary-general, and seven Bureau Heads to exchange ideas of low carbon city initiatives.
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At the closed-door meeting, the ECCT Chairman Bernd Barkey presented to Mayor Lai the LCI's 2015 Energy Report, and Mayor Lai to Chairman Barkey and LCI members his new book "Foresee the Future 看見未來".

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The meeting continued with the LCI Director Raoul Kubitschek's presentation of European's energy efficient implementations and solutions for cities and industries. Following that, Tainan's Environmental Protection Bureau Director-general Lee and Transportation Bureau Director-general Chang introduced Tainan's green city policicies and smart transportation system.

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After the Q&A session, Mayor Lai expressed great appreciation to the LCI's shared best practices and look forward to further cooperation between the city and the LCI for making Tainan a city of better living and sustanibility.

Read the full report below

Low Carbon Initiative meeting

At the LCI meeting, ECCT delegates discussed ideas for cooperation in a number of areas such as green urban development, energy efficiency in industry and buildings and low carbon transport with their counterparts from the Tainan City Government. The first session of the meeting was open to the media. It began with opening remarks from Chairman Bernd Barkey and Mayor Lai, and an introduction to the LCI by ECCT Vice Chairman Giuseppe Izzo. The second session of the meeting, closed to the media, featured presentations by LCI Director Raoul Kubitschek and two senior officials from the Tainan City Government, followed by a Q&A session.

In his opening remarks, ECCT Chairman Bernd Barkey noted that since the ECCT's first visit to Tainan in 2013, the ECCT had grown from 750 members to more than 820 members and that European investment in Taiwan had increased from US$31 billion to over US$33 billion. He said that this growth showed that Europeans are confident about Taiwan's economic prospects. Moreover, the large size of the delegation visiting Tainan clearly showed that ECCT members are interested in doing business in Tainan.

In his opening remarks Mayor Lai praised European countries and companies as global leaders in sustainable and low carbon development. He therefore welcomed the opportunity to exchange information and ideas with the ECCT as his administration shares the objective of transforming Tainan into a low carbon city. In particular, he said that the input from LCI members would be highly valued and useful for the city in drawing up plans and putting in place the right solutions for the city.

After the opening remarks, ECCT Vice Chairman Giuseppe Izzo gave a brief introduction to the LCI and LCI members who were present. ECCT Chairman Bernd Barkey then proceeded to introduce and present a copy of the LCI's recently-released report titled "The Path to Industrial Energy Efficiency in Taiwan - Partnering with the EU" to Mayor Lai. The mayor in turn presented a signed copy of his book titled "Foresee the Future" to Chairman Barkey and other ECCT delegates.

After the media left, the second session of the meeting began with a presentation by LCI Director Raoul Kubitschek. The presentation gave a brief overview of the LCI and highlighted some of the solutions offered by LCI members and some best practices from Europe.

Europe is leading global efforts to combat climate change through efforts at the regional (EU), national and local government level. Municipal governments have an important role to play by putting in place the correct regulatory framework and incentives for behavioural changes for industry and households, drafting and implementing plans, monitoring the result and making changes if necessary. Throughout the process it is important to get the cooperation of all stakeholders from government, the private sector and communities.

While broad EU-level CO2 emissions and renewable energy targets have been set, some local governments have set even higher targets and have come up with innovative ways to achieve the targets. For example, the city of Dresden in Germany set up central facility management to increase the energy efficiency and management of buildings. In addition, the city improved planning to redevelop old areas of the city closer to the centre so as to provide more housing and reduce the need for commuting a larger number of people. In addition, European cities have seen large-scale roll-out of green transport such as electric buses and light rail systems.

In order to reach aggressive CO2 emissions targets, the city of Tübingen has reduced power consumption by introducing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) power generation systems, which recycle the heat lost in the conventional power generation process, making them far more energy efficient than traditional power generation facilities. In addition Tübingen has set a much higher 50% target for renewable energy than the EU-wide target.

Kubitschek noted that these initiatives had created 3,000 jobs as well as helped to make the cities more livable and attractive to talented people, which in turn generate economic growth and create a virtuous cycle of creating prosperity and a better life for the cities.

Kubitschek went on to introduce some examples of the best practices offered by LCI members in the areas of renewable (wind) energy, smart grids, ISO 50001 certification, light rail systems, electric buses, smart manufacturing, green buildings, energy-efficient tyres, construction, building insulation materials, appliances and pumps.

Lee Hsien-wei, Director-General of Tainan City's Environmental Protection Bureau gave a presentation on Tainan's low carbon city projects. Under Mayor Lai, Tainan has set four major targets: To become 1) Taiwan's capital of culture, 2) a tourist paradise, 3) a science and technology city and 4) a low carbon city.

According to Lee, Tainan has managed to reduce its CO2 emissions by about 2.8 million tonnes from 26.17 million tonnes in 2010 to 23.33 tonnes in 2013. This was done through various measures such as encouraging the production of some 80 kinds of carbon footprint products in Tainan and promoting green buildings. The city had 93 green buildings in 2014, up from 30 in 2010.  In addition, the city approved 1,856 solar power projects between 2011 and 2015 and is building a new hydro-electric power plant (named Zengwen), projected to be ready by 2018. The administration has also increased the size of green spaces by 156% and increased the number of new trees planted by 78%.

But there is clearly more work to be done. For example, Tainan's public transport network is still relatively limited while there are a high number of (mostly internal combustion) vehicles - 1.29 million vehicles for a population of 1.93 million.

In March 2014 the city announced the redevelopment of an area of the city known as Jiu Fenzi as a low carbon model community, the first such community in Taiwan. Every aspect of development will be considered including traffic, ecology, flood control and green buildings to realise the low carbon goals. The Jiu Fenzi area will make use of permeable paving for 70% of its area and green space will cover 60% of the area. There will be an 11.5-kilometre bikeway and
5,358 trees and 220,000 bushes will be planted. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions by 70%, reduce domestic water usage by 30% and for renewable energy (mostly from solar panels on rooftops) to account for over 30% of energy needs. Given Tainan's current water shortage, the city plans to increase the use of recycled water.

In his presentation, Michael CY Chang, Director-General of Tainan City's Bureau of Transportation outlined the city's plans to set up a smart transportation centre by 2018 which would work on various aspects of the transport system to increase public transport and other ways to reduce emissions from the transportation sector. When Tainan City merged with Tainan County to become a special municipality in 2010, the administration set about integrating and streamlining the management and functioning of greater Tainan' various bus routes and services. It is now working with a telecom operator to improve traffic control and parking systems. For example, a Tainan city bus App' has been introduced to provide real time information on buses while electronic ticketing has been integrated and a bus priority signal system has been introduced. Looking ahead, the city plans to introduce a bicycle sharing system, smart parking and real-time traffic information systems, among other initiatives. In the Q&A session Chang said that the city is considering various low carbon public transport options including building a light rail system and increasing the use of electric buses or hybrid electric buses in Tainan.

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