As I sit in my cubicle enthusiastically reading Want China Times’ reports on Taiwan’s new green energy efforts, I can’t help but look away from the virtual window and roll my eyes over to the office’s 15th floor view of inner-city Beijing. The buildings farther away have turned into tall, timid shadows behind the cloak of smog and the sky’s hypothetical bright blues and whites look like they’ve been lazily erased. But alas, the tables seem to be slowly but surely turning for China, as promises of environmental reform make their way through the haze.
Just last week, it was announced that China’s National People’s Congress might be getting an experienced and devoted environmentalist as their new Minister of Environmental Protection. This week, Want China Times announced that local government officials from Kinmen county island between the coast of Mainland China and Taiwan explored plans with the nation’s top research institutions to create micro-grid and power storage systems to promote the use of green energy and minimize carbon emissions.
Lin De-gong, Kinmen deputy magistrate, as well as the county’s Environmental Protection Bureau Chief, have announced that they plan on starting off their environmental pursuits by turning the Lieyu island township into a carbon-free island, like the renowned tourist attraction Gulangyu. The establishment of a carbon-free archipelago is likely to not only bring in more tourism revenue into the region, but more importantly set an example for what China should be striving for at a federal level.
Taiwan’s encouraging environmental protection efforts have also done well to influence campuses such as Taiwan’s National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST), which recently came in 31st place in the Green Metric World University Ranking, a competition that ranks universities worldwide on their environmental and sustainable efforts. School officials are confident that it was their water recycling system that managed to get them the 3rd highest ranking amongst all participating Asian countries. The campus even uses solar power to supply electricity for some of their dormitories. Alongside the campus’s general environmental friendliness, NPUST also prides itself in its many research departments that focus on green energy and sustainable research.
Images courtesy of China Mike