The 2007 International NGO Climate Change Forum was held in Taiwan from October 19-21, sponsored by the Institute of Environment and Resource. Office support was provided by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union. There were twelve international guests.
A round table meeting, where NGO representatives exchanged ideas, was held on the 19th. The main meeting, where participants gave presentations, was held on the 20th.
Jurgen Maier from Germany stressed that introducing renewable energy does not have a negative impact on the economy. Rather, it has a positive impact by creating new business opportunities. Sandy Gauntlett (New Zealand), Pavel Suian (Romania), Steve Patrick Lalande (Seychelles), and Michele Perrault (USA) emphasized the seriousness of the problem of global warming and the important role of NGOs. Jun-kwan Ahn told us about the activities of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement and discussed the increase in Korea’s CO2 emissions. Mika Obayashi said that Japan still has a very low uptake of renewable energy. She told us about the efforts of local governments, including the plan of Tokyo City to reduce CO2 emissions by 25%. Fumiaki Utaka (Japan) explained the initiatives of local governments in the context of the work of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. In my presentation I pointed out that nuclear energy is no use in preventing climate change.
The official meeting finished on the 21st and the following day I visited the town of Kungliao, where Taiwan’s fourth nuclear power plant (Lungmen) is being constructed. My purpose was to see the state of progress of construction and to exchange ideas with local activists. We visited the local representative of Taiwan Environmental Protection Union. He informed us that construction of the plant was 50-60% complete. The reactor building and the turbine building of the first reactor were not complete. The seawater intake and wastewater channels were also incomplete.
There is a seismic fault a few kilometers from the plant. Taipower says it is not an active fault, but Tokyo Electric Power Company said the same thing about Kashiwazaki-Kariwa before the Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake. The Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake was a big issue in Taiwan as well.
In addition, there is environmental damage from a big port facility, built about 3km away for unloading equipment. Due to erosion, only half the sand remains on a popular swimming beach nearby and the local economy has been adversely affected by the drop in the number of tourists during the summer.
Report by Hideyuki Ban (CNIC Co-Director)