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MOFA and NGO jointly hold Climate Justice Leaders’ Seminar, share Taiwanese women’s efforts in fighting climate change

No. 015


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Foundation for Women’s Rights Promotion and Development jointly held the online Climate Justice Leaders’ Seminar on March 15 in response to the theme of gender equality and climate justice promoted at the UN’s 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Participants included Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Economic Affairs; Michelle Wu, Mayor of Boston, United States; Baroness Natalie Louise Bennett, a member of the UK Parliament and former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales; Kitlang Kabua, Minister of Education, Sports and Training, Marshall Islands; Sophia Cheng, Chief Investment Officer for Cathay Financial Holdings; and many other outstanding female leaders involved in politics, business, and NGOs from around the world. During the webinar, they shared their experiences and achievements in promoting environmental protection and combating climate change.


Minister Wang said that as a key player in global supply chains, Taiwan is proactively seeking to achieve the worldwide goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. She said that in recent years the Ministry of Economic Affairs has targeted the energy sector and industry, encouraging businesses to improve production processes, switch to alternative fuels, and focus on the circular economy through the use of wind, solar, hydrogen, and other energy sources. She said that through this process, women’s participation in the energy sector has significantly increased, especially in the offshore wind energy sector, where women account for 26 percent of the labor force in Taiwan—higher than the Asia-Pacific region (15 percent) and the world (21 percent).


In her remarks, Baroness Bennett said that in addition to tackling climate change, humanity needs to consider “system change” in order to break down systems of gender inequality and create a more equitable society.


Minister Kabua stated that the Marshall Islands has already been impacted by climate change, and that women are more vulnerable to its effects. She explained that the Marshall Islands has therefore continued to adjust its policies and provide women with high-quality education and training. Minister Kabua mentioned in particular that Taiwan has been an important partner to the Marshall Islands in its pursuit of sustainable development, providing robust assistance in support of local women’s livelihoods.


Boston Mayor Wu, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, explained Boston’s Green New Deal and shared how, as sister cities, Taipei and Boston have learned from each other and both implemented green energy measures. Mayor Wu said she hopes that cities around the world will draw inspiration from these experiences to build a greener, more resilient future for us all. The event marked the first time Mayor Wu had accepted a speaking engagement from the government of Taiwan since taking office.


Cathay Financial Holdings CIO Cheng, who is also Chair of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, discussed trends in international climate finance from a business perspective. Stating that climate change is a global challenge, she said that no government or business can shy away from the climate crisis.


The webinar was moderated by Denise Scotto, Vice President of the International Federation of Women in Legal Careers. Other speakers included Tara DePorte, Founder and Executive Director of the US Human Impact Institute; Ann K. Singeo, Executive Director of the Ebiil Society, a Palauan environmental group; and Wang Shiuan-ru, a young Taiwanese activist involved in promoting plastic reduction policies. The speakers all shared their personal journeys and experiences in promoting environmental protection and tackling climate change.


The event was broadcast live on MOFA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The Facebook pages of Taiwan’s overseas missions in New York, Chile, Italy, Thailand, Sweden, Belgium, and the United Kingdom also livestreamed the event, while NGOs and experts from the Marshall Islands, the United States, Sweden, Myanmar, Turkey, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore engaged in spirited discussion in the event’s live chat messaging boards. Members of the public are welcome to watch the event on MOFA’s Facebook page or YouTube channel; please remember to share and like. (E)