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Taiwan: Greenpeace joins private citizens to file Taiwan’s first climate lawsuit, targeting corporate exemptions

"Greenpeace joins private citizens to file Taiwan’s first climate lawsuit, targeting corporate exemptions" 5 February 2021

Greenpeace East Asia’s Taipei office, the Environmental Jurists Association and four private citizens have filed the first climate lawsuit in Taiwan on the 3rd of February, targeting two exemptions that let big corporations dodge their legal duty to transition to renewable energy and meet Taiwan’s 2025 renewable energy goals.

“The goal of this lawsuit is to let our laws work the way they were intended. At this rate, we won’t meet Taiwan’s energy goals. Taiwan can’t be a leader in Asia if the government doesn’t show leadership at home,” said Tracy Cheng, a Taipei-based climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia.

The lawsuit aims to defend the rights of people impacted by the climate crisis in Taiwan. It challenges two clauses of a 2019 energy regulation originally meant to transition large electricity users to renewable energy. But after a lengthy review process, the Ministry of Economic Affairs managed to write in metrics that let big businesses off the hook by measuring their energy use by contracted capacity (instead of actual electricity consumption) and raising the threshold to determine who qualifies as a “large power consumer.”

The current state of regulation asks large electricity users to transition 10% of contracted capacity to renewable energy, which has so far resulted in an actual transition of approximately 1.4% of the overall electricity use. [...]