Taiwan's EPA takes solid measures against greenwashing


Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) cautioned local businesses against "greenwashing," which falsely present businesses as environmentally friendly while neglecting negative effects such as greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA is urging businesses to monitor their emissions through accurate inventory and build a system for third-party monitoring. Such measures have gained significance with the enactment of the Climate Change Response Act on Feb. 15.

Government agencies and enterprises can participate in voluntary carbon reduction projects, either individually or collaboratively, potentially acquiring carbon reduction credits that can be transferred, traded, or auctioned to those seeking carbon reduction to fulfill their quotas.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has identified two prevalent forms of deception. The first is "selective information disclosure," in which an enterprise chooses to disclose beneficial information while disregarding the adverse effects of other operations.

For example, paper products can be labeled as "green" if they meet specific criteria like sourcing from sustainably harvested forests, according to the WEF. However, intentionally disregarding other aspects of the production process, such as the use of chlorine for paper bleaching and the energy consumption of paper mills, can be deceptive.

The second type of greenwashing, referred to as "symbolism" by the WEF, entails actions that create a superficial positive impact but disregard substantial problems. One example, according to the WEF, is a fashion brand making donations to UNICEF while failing to address child labor problems within its supply chain.

To combat greenwashing, the EPA has implemented two significant measures. First, the evaluation of carbon credits must adhere to the principles of being measurable, reportable, and verifiable (MRV), ensuring effective and measurable carbon reduction.

Second, the EPA has entrusted the Financial Supervisory Commission to establish and manage a carbon exchange. The EPA will closely monitor this exchange and make necessary adjustments to carbon offset credits that can be traded, aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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