Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series
Policy name: Climate Change Response Act
Overview: Taiwan has passed a climate bill that includes provisions requiring the government to promote low-carbon diets and a reduction in food waste.
Population: 23.9 million
Food policy category: Food security, food waste, climate change, sustainable agriculture, nutrition
Program goals: To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
How it works: The Climate Change Response Act requires the Executive Yuan’s National Council of Sustainable Development to coordinate national responses to climate change, and the central government is tasked with developing a national action plan that is reviewed every four years. The Environmental Protection Administration will develop a carbon pricing plan, which will require entities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon per year to pay a fee.
Article 8 of the bill requires the Council of Agriculture to promote food waste reduction and low-carbon diets, including plant-based and locally-produced foods. Article 42 states that all levels of government should promote those types of foods and support organizations that advocate for low-carbon diets.
Details on exactly how the government will encourage more consumption of local and/or plant-based foods have not yet been released.
Progress to date: In 2015, Taiwan passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, which set five-year carbon reduction targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. In November 2021, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration began revising the act with the goal of accelerating the country’s carbon reduction process and decided to change the name to the Climate Change Response Act. In May 2022, the revisions were reviewed by the Joint Committees of Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene, Economics, Finance, Transportation, and Education and Culture. The act passed the third reading of the Legislative Yuan in January 2023.
Why it is important: Greenhouse gas emissions, of which carbon dioxide comprises 76 percent, are the primary factors responsible for climate change. One-third of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the food system, and animal-based foods produce most of the emissions within the food sector. Plant-based foods, on the other hand, use fewer resources, including energy, land, and water, and, therefore, do not produce as many greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, approximately 17 percent of all food produced worldwide goes to waste. The production, transportation, and decomposition of food that does not get eaten accounts for more than eight percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
In order to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change, it is important to shift towards plant-based diets, use better agricultural practices, and reduce food waste.
Program/Policy initiated: The act passed on January 10, 2023.
Point of contact: N/A
Similar practices: The United States passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in August 2022, and Australia passed a Climate Change Bill in September 2022, both of which also aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, Taiwan’s climate bill appears to be the first to specify the promotion of plant-based and locally-produced foods.
Evaluation: Evaluation has not yet been conducted.
- Food Waste and its Links to Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change (USDA)
- Plant-Based Dietary Patterns for Human and Planetary Health (Nutrients)
- Plant-Based Diets for Mitigating Climate Change (Vegetarian and Plant-Based Diets in Health and Disease Prevention)
- A Vegan Diet: Eating for the Environment (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)
- Change from Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act to Climate Change Response Act Approved (Environmental Protection Administration)
- Climate Change Bill 2022 (Parliament of Australia)
- Climate Change Response Act (Environmental Protection Administration)
- Food and Climate Change: Healthy Diets for a Healthier Planet (United Nations)
- Food Systems are Responsible for a Third of Global Anthropogenic GHG Emissions (Nature Food)
- Global Emissions (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (Laws & Regulations Database of the Republic of China)
- Inflation Reduction 5 Act of 2022 (Senate Democrats)
- Legislature Passes Climate Amendments (Taipei Times)
- Taiwan Lawmakers Pass Climate Bill that Includes Mandate to Promote Plant-Based Foods (The Vegan Herald)
- Taiwan Passes Climate Bill Mandating the Promotion of Plant-Based Foods (Vegconomist)
- Taiwan’s Climate Legislation Embraces Plant-Based Eating (Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan)