Environmental

Taipower and Atomic Energy Council Clash Over Orchid Island Ruling

Taipower, Taiwan's state-run energy utility, won out in a recent ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court that exempted it from needing to pay 30 million NT for failing to remove low-level nuclear waste from Orchid Island. Low-level nuclear waste refers to items that have become contaminated with radioactive material or become radioactive through exposure, as distinguished from intermediate-level nuclear waste, high-level nuclear waste, spent fuel rods, or other nuclear waste materials...

Clashes Between Demonstrators, Suspected Gangsters in Miaoli Over Landfill Development Plans

Clashes broke out in Miaoli earlier this week over the Kunyu landfill, when local residents demonstrating the landfill’s construction were allegedly attacked by men that they allege were gangsters hired by the construction company. The clashes took place around 3 AM yesterday, in the early morning hours of Thursday. Eight were injured, consisting of five men and three women, including a student whose glasses were broken during the struggle...

Authoritarian Nostalgia Plays Role in Pan-Blue Nuclear Advocacy

Pan-blue media personality Jaw Shaw-kung, one of the leading figures of the “Fighting Blues” within the KMT, recently took a strong stance against the Tsai administration’s energy transition policy. Jaw criticized the Tsai administration as overly reliant on LNG terminals and instead called for the extension of Reactor No. 2 and Reactor No. 3’s operational lifetimes, as well as the restart of the controversial Lungmen Reactor No. 4. Jaw’s comments are worth examining for how this sheds light upon the pan-Blue camp’s framing of Taiwan’s current energy issues...

Taichung Steel Mill Regulations Target Air Pollution

The Taichung city government has made moves to rein in air pollution, with new regulations targeting steel mills having been submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency for review by Taichung’s Environmental Protection Bureau. The Taichung city government touts such restrictions as the strictest in the country and hopes that they will take effect before the end of this year...

Indigenous Representatives Criticize Executive Yuan Report on Asia Cement Mine

A report by the Executive Yuan on the Asia Cement mine on Indigenous land in Taroko Gorge has led to backlash from Indigenous community representatives, after the findings of the report were that there was not any illegal activity in the land leases for mine. The report’s conclusions have been criticized as reflecting a certain political viewpoint, as well as being contradictory to the report itself. Issues have also been raised with the writing process for the report. Asia Cement is a subsidiary of Far Eastern Group, one of Taiwan’s largest conglomerates...

Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Statement by Tsai May Be Primarily Aimed at International Diplomacy

President Tsai Ing-wen stated that Taiwan was committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in comments made in the same timeframe of the 26th U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties, more commonly referred to as COP26, in Glasgow earlier this week. The statement by Tsai proves interesting, in that global climate change is rarely the political framework for discussing environmental issues in Taiwan...

Protests Continue Against Zhiben Solar Farm on Katratripulr Land in August and September

Protests regarding the Zhiben photovoltaic farm took place again late last month, with demonstrations against a government survey of the land that the farm is planned to be built on. These protests were not widely reported on, however, probably due to the fact that they took place in Taitung. Protests that take place outside of Taipei sometimes fail to receive coverage, with much of the media industry based in Taipei, and because Taiwan is small enough that protesters can frequently travel to Taipei to protest even for local issues. This has not been helped by COVID-related stories still continuing to take up a large part of the news cycle...

Asia Cement Ruling Likely to Be Resisted by the Company, with the Backing of the Ministry of Economic Affairs

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled against extending the mining rights of Asia Cement’s mine on Truku Indigenous land on Thursday, dismissing an appeal filed by Asia Cement. The decision has been seen by some as a victory in the struggle against the mine. The Hualien city council had previously levied an ore tax of 70 NT per metric ton on the mine and rejected the extension. A lower court had previously also found Asia Cement’s actions to be in violation of the Indigenous Basic Law....