CLEAN AIR IN CENTRAL TAIWAN

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THIS IS A PETITION FOR CLEAN AIR ON BEHALF OF FOREIGN RESIDENTS IN THE CENTRAL TAIWAN AREA.

CHINESE TRANSLATION BELOW
(中文翻譯在下面)

This petition will be presented to the Taiwan and Taichung City Government and also the media in Taiwan.

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF FOREIGN RESIDENTS IN CENTRAL TAIWAN

As representatives of the large and diverse foreign community in Central Taiwan, we love Taiwan and care very much about its future. For many of us, Taiwan is our chosen home, we have partners, families and businesses here. We are not here to criticise Taiwan’s problems and then leave to go back to our home countries. However, many of us feel that if you love something, then you must be honest and acknowledge its faults. Central Taiwan’s air pollution is one such fault. Air pollution affects everyone. It does not discriminate between Taiwanese and foreigners.

FOREIGN VISITORS
For visitors to Taiwan, Taiwan truly deserves its name as a beautiful island, but there is a dark cloud over the island - a literal one. Every time you descend from the mountains there is a visible haze over the western coastal plain, blanketing it in orange smog. Visitors to this place deserve to see a better side of the island.

FOREIGN INVESTORS
Foreign investors see Taiwan as a place with many of the same advantages as China but with a higher quality of both life and product. But, it’s easy to see that the quality of the air is very poor. Many of the companies that Taiwan needs as customers and suppliers now demand that the energy used to produce their products be cleanly generated. Taiwan needs to get in front of this global trend to remain competitive.

PARENTS
Foreign community parents in Taiwan face the same issues as everyone else, with the added pain of knowing that the environment we live in is harming the health of our most loved ones. We have seen cleaner parts of the world, and we know that we can do better and still have a healthy economy.

TEACHERS
For foreign teachers, this is more than a personal problem. Teachers care deeply about the safety of the children they are responsible for. These children are the future of Taiwan, yet they will grow up with risks to their health which are not in any way their fault.

PETITION REQUEST
In closing, we call on the governments of Taiwan and Taichung to do three things to help improve the quality of the air.

1. BAN POLLUTING VEHICLES
We hope to see Taiwan ban polluting vehicles like two-stroke scooters and tighten emissions standards for all vehicles. This is the single step that helped LA turn its orange skies into blue ones. The EPA has regulations on the emission standards of vehicles, but only for new ones, not old ones. Currently, the strategy for old vehicles is to simply wait until those vehicles retire.

In Paris, France, the city government has banned all vehicles made before 1997 from entering the city on weekdays between 8am and 8pm. Starting in July 2017, the French government will issue stickers in 6 color classifications for all vehicles according to their emissions.

When the air quality is poor, towns and cities in France will be able to forbid vehicles with certain colors from entering certain areas. France also offers 400 Euros to citizens who give up their old car and that money can be used for an annual public transport pass or a bicycle. We would like to encourage the Taiwan government to implement similar policies to reduce emissions, the use of certain vehicles, and set up a green transportation system.

There are some steps being taken such as free public transport within a 10km journey and implementation of the UBike system. These are great initiatives, but work on regulating vehicles is also needed.

2. INVEST IN CLEAN ENERGY
We are aware that the government is beginning to promote and invest in clean energy for the future. By 2025 the plan is to generate 50% of electricity from natural gas and 20% from renewable energy. We would like to ask the government to publish their plan to close the coal power plant in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

3. REVISE AIR QUALITY STANDARDS
We ask the government to stop saying the air is safe for children when it is not. The EPA has adopted the US AQI standard, but they only take action to reduce pollution levels when the PM2.5 level is 150μg/m3. We would like to see the Taiwan EPA adopt EU standards where PM2.5 is 70μg/m3 and PM10 is 80μg/m3.

We would all like to work in together with the city government and people of Taichung to fix this problem. We can make a cleaner and healthier future for all of us.

All are welcome to sign and share this petition in support of clean air.

CHINESE TRANSLATION

中台灣乾淨空氣連署書

這份連署書將呈現給台中市政府以及台灣媒體朋友。

中台灣外籍居民共同聲明

代表中台灣龐大而多元的外國社群,我們愛台灣,而且非常在意它的未來。對我們許多人而言,台灣是我們選擇的家園,我們的伴侶、家人和事業都在此。我們不是批評台灣的問題後就離開台灣回到我們原本的國家。然而,我們許多人認為,如果你愛一樣事物,你必須誠實地去面對它的缺陷,而中台灣的空氣汙染就是一個缺陷。空氣汙染影響每一個人,不會因為是台灣人或外國人而有所差別。

1. 對於來到台灣的觀光客而言,台灣名符其實是個美麗的島嶼,但有個烏雲籠罩著它,真的就是烏雲。每當你從高山俯瞰,可以看到一層橘色的霧霾罩住西海岸。來到這裡的觀光客應該要能看到島嶼這一面更美的景色。

2. 對於外國投資客而言,台灣是一個和中國一樣有許多投資優勢的地方,然而生活與產品上還有更高的品質。但是,很明顯的,台灣的空氣品質很差。台灣所需要的客戶與供應商現在都要求使用潔淨能源來生產產品。台灣須要走在這波世界潮流的前端才能保持競爭力。

3. 居住在台灣的外國父母和其他人一樣面臨同樣的問題—這個我們所生存的環境正在傷害我們最愛的孩子。我們知道這世界其他空氣乾淨的地方,我們知道我們可以做得更好並且保持經濟活絡。

4. 對於外國老師而言,空氣污染已經不是個人的問題。老師非常在乎學生們的安全,而這些孩子就是台灣的未來啊! 他們的成長過程卻暴露在這樣的空氣汙染風險中,而這個空氣汙染也不是他們的錯啊!

最後,針對中央與地方政府,我們有以下三點呼籲,希望能改善空氣:

1.  在法國巴黎,市政府已經禁止1997前生產的車輛於周間早上8點至晚上8點進入市區。今年7月,法國政府將依據不同汙染排放程度的各種交通工具,發行六種顏色的貼紙。

當空氣品質不好時,法國的城鎮與城市可以自行決定要禁止哪種顏色貼紙的車輛進入所規範的區域。法國政府也提供給擁有舊車輛的車主每人400歐元,鼓勵其換取一年份的大眾交通運輸票券,或者買台腳踏車。我們台中也有10公里免費公車以及Ubike腳踏車服務。這些都是很棒的做法,但是管制車輛的措施還是必須的。

2. 我們呼籲政府促進更多台灣潔淨能源的發展與投資。台電應該立即規劃使用天然氣和再生能源,促使世界最大的二氧化碳排放源台中火力發電廠轉型。

3. 我們要求政府不要在空氣不好的時候,還說這樣的空氣對孩子而言是安全的。環保署採用的美國的AQI指標,但其擬訂的空氣品質惡化緊急防制辦法,PM2.5要達150μg/m3才會採取行動。我們希望環保局能採用歐盟的標準,當PM2.5 達70μg/m3、PM10達80μg/m3時便採取降低污染的行動。

我們希望能和台中市政府與台中市民一起來改善這個問題。我們可以創造一個更乾淨又更健康的未來。

請一起來連署這份支持乾淨空氣的連署書。



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