New Taipei City's Climate Action Plan
New Taipei city, Taiwan
New Taipei City is combating climate change through innovative and state-of-the-art interventions.
New Taipei City’s Climate Action Plan aims to bring about urban transformation by implementing more green buildings, cleaner energy, smart transportation, efficient resource allocation and sustainable life-style strategies.
The plan takes into consideration all emission sectors; residential commercial and institutional buildings and facilities, manufacturing industries, construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing activities, transportation, waste management, industrial processes and product uses. The mitigation methods used contain energy saving, energy efficiency and resource conservation that will create a more sustainable future for all citizens.
Background and objectives
New Taipei City, with 3.9 million residents, is Taiwan’s most populous metropolis. Nearly 3.7 million people live in the urban area, 2,988 people per square kilometre, and the jungle of high-rise buildings leads to severe heat island effect. Over 2 million motorcycles are registered in the city and combined with overcrowded motor vehicles result in long and harrowing commutes for citizens, traffic congestion and serious air pollution.
New Taipei City covers a vast territory, including mountains, hills, plains and basins. Extreme weather conditions see temperatures continue to rise, typhoons become stronger and more intense, heavy precipitation events are the norm and the sea level rises, posing imminent threat to the city’s sea side dwellers along its 120 km coastal line. When typhoons strike between July and October, some sensitive lands areas experience mudslides and some may flood. Due to global warming, the mosquito season may lengthen and citizens who work outside are exposed to heat and are at the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
The government of New Taipei City is committed to reducing emissions, and creating a sustainable city for all citizens and has agreed to publicly report on the following objectives within the next three years:
- The greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the city consistent with the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC)
- The climate hazards faced by the city
- A target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- The climate vulnerabilities faced by the city
- Plans to address climate change mitigation and adaptation
The government of New Taipei City has made the improvement of energy efficiency to residential and commercial buildings and facilities a priority as they have been identified as the source of the highest emissions in greenhouse gases.
In the mid-term, the government plans to expand the implementation of a range of green buildings through alliances and exchanges with community, schools, and private enterprise and to increase capacity of renewable energy sources.
In the long-term, plans to further change the regional energy structure through the promotion of the distribution of renewable energy, regional energy and natural resource recycling are being developed. The government of New Taipei City is working on industrial, cultural, tourism and transportation sustainable developments in order transform New Taipei City into an international sustainable metropolis.
Activities of the New Taipei City Climate Action Plan are:
Make Building Greener
Measures: A green doctor, constructed wetlands management and education, green roofs, green homes and urban planning and green building label.
Benefits: 531 communities have being counselled in energy saving, 8 constructed wetlands have been connected, 79 green roofs have been established, 170 hectares unused areas become greener.
Take Smart Transport
Measures: low emission bus, 3 loops & 3 lines MRT system, user-friendly cycling infrastructure, car-free day, intelligent EV and e-motor and carpooling network.
Benefits: 43.8 km of MRT tracks, 390 kilometers of bike lanes, 6,079 carpooling routes, 114 electric cars charging stands and 1340 electric bikes charging stands have been built.
Produce Cleaner Energy
Measures: energy conservation education, green public-owned building, geothermal power development plan, clean energy production, landfill gas recovery, incineration plant power generation and green industry cluster.
Benefits: through energy conservation campaigns, a total of 5.17 million kWh of electricity has been saved, 6245kWp capacity solar photovoltaic systems were installed, 210 tons per year of methane was recycled, and power generated by incinerator was 200,000,000 kWh. For a total reduction of 25,000 tons CO2e, the city also increased NT$ 265 million in revenue.
Allocate Resources More Efficiently
Measures: Adaptive reuse of old buildings, second-hand market and exchange platform, household waste reduction and recycling.
Benefits: 164 old buildings were adapted for reuse, with an area of 71,005m2; second-hand recycling has reduced 213.12 tons of MSW waste, and has successfully improved the situation of 880 needing families in the city.
Live A More Sustainable Life
Measures: Citizen’s farm, energy conservation and carbon reduction label, reduced combustion of ghost money, ranking of neighbourhood environment, rating and reform of low-carbon community label, energy conservation of service sector.
Benefits: New Taipei City Government provided approximately 33,058 m2 of farmland for planting 5,699 kg organic vegetables, combusted 11,000 tons of ghost money centrally, established 18 energy-conservation labels and 360 neighbourhood environmental certified indicators.
Financing and resources
The budget allocated to initiatives fighting climate change come from multiple public agencies of the national government, including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Works. The total budget to date is in excess of NT$300 million.
Results and impacts
Positive results have been achieved through the Climate Action Plan including:
The city is cleaner: in 2018 New Taipei was named the cleanest city in Taiwan for the seventh consecutive year by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) of Taiwan.
The waste volume has decreased: the annual waste volume of New Taipei reduced from 108.48 tons to 34,19 tons from 2013 to 2016.
More energy has been saved: the electricity saving rate in New Taipei reached 1.24% in 2015, the highest record among cities in Taiwan.
Smart Transport: The percentage of citizens using public transportation increased from 25% to 34% in 2103-2016. The number of passengers taking buses was 800,000.
Barriers and challenges
New Taipei has been struggling to ensure a balance between economic development and environmental protection. To achieve sustainable development for the city, the government continues to explore multiple clean energy solutions and is devising incentive programmes to raise public awareness of climate change.
Lessons learned and transferability
While climate change is a global issue, solutions can be found in grassroots movements and local actions. In New Taipei, public participation has served as the source of innovative methods. For example, 10,000 volunteers have been trained by city government employees to offer a consultation service on energy saving for residents.