An 1208 action on climate change (1208抗暖化，為下一代而走) was held in Taipei and other cities around Taiwan today. It was part of an international day of action to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference currently being held in Bali. About three thousand people participated in the march. It was a big increase in numbers from last year's event in Taipei.
The most colorful participants in the parade were those from COSWAS (日日春協會, the sex workers collective). I was also surprised to see a small group from ISKCON, better known as the Hare Krishnas. It was the first time I had seen them in Taipei. Their banner read, "Eating meat = increasing global warming".
There were a number of environmental groups participating in the march including the Green Party, TEAN, Taiwan Environmental Protection Union and the Society of Wilderness. There were also candidates for the Legislative Yuan election from the Green Party and TSU.
Vice-President Annette Lu (副總統呂秀蓮) made a brief appearance at the start of the rally at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. She read out some of the forecasts from the IPCC and also commented on how much energy was wasted by bottled water.
It was great to see many people turn out for this event in Taipei. However, Taiwan still has a long way to go to meet the challenges of climate change. Even though it is unable to participate in the meeting in Bali as it is not a member of the UN, I hope the government will at least try to meet the targets set in Bali. The Taiwan News yesterday reported that former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Taiwan must contribute to the global fight against climate change even if it is outside the UN framework.
Taiwan is one of the world's largest per capita producers of greenhouse gases. It must play its part as a responsible global citizen.
*more photos in the 1208 Climate Change Action in Taipei set at flickr.
Update: The Taipei Times has a report on the Taipei march. The Taiwan News reports on Annette Lu's comments. Jerome Keating points out that Kofi Annan refers to Taiwan as "a country". (added 9 December 2007) More reports on the event in Taipei and elsewhere in Taiwan can be found at tw-climatecampaign.blogspot.com. (added 10 December 2007)