Top Story: June 26, 2014

Taiwan – Environmental Leader

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By Molly Michelson

This week, we’ve been covering the work of Academy researchers in Taiwan. As it turns out, they weren’t the only visitors to the small island democracy this past spring; the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, visited Taiwan in April.

In a speech at The National Taiwan University, McCarthy echoed what we heard from John McCosker and Meg Lowman earlier this week: Taiwan plays a key role in global environmental leadership. “From the families all over Taiwan—to the students here in this room—you are among the most environmentally responsible people in the world,” she said to the audience.

The EPA’s relationship with Taiwan goes back 20 years when they began a collaboration with EPA Taiwan (EPAT) to combat air pollution. And that relationship only continues. According the U.S. EPA website, “experts from the two agencies are currently working to reduce air pollutant emissions from ships and ports operations.”

Taiwan is also known worldwide for reducing and recycling electronic waste. McCarthy praised Taiwan in her speech, stating that the democracy “has been a model for e-waste initiatives in Central America and Africa.”

Where will Taiwan go next environmentally? We can’t wait to find out. Their actions indicate that they appreciate our planet—its biodiversity and natural beauty—and are interested in sustaining it for generations to come. We should pay attention and follow their lead.

Image: Peellden/Wikipedia

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