Minister Lee Ying-yuan of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on September 27 addressed an AmCham Taipei luncheon meeting on the subject of “Taiwan’s Leadership in the Global Environment.” The event at the Grand Hyatt Taipei was jointly sponsored by the Chamber’s Sustainable Development and Chemical Manufacturers committees.
Lee highlighted the Taiwan EPA’s achievements in the following areas:
- Removal of debris from the sea floor in nearby waters and imposing marine pollution controls. For example, Taiwan was recently the first country in Asia to ban the use of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products to prevent their entering the food chain through fish.
- A series of programs to improve air quality by reducing pollution from both stationary and mobile sources as well as decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Engagement in over 200 environment-related projects with the United States since the signing of a bilateral agreement in 1993.
- Participation in the International Environmental Partnership to promote e-waste management.
- Coordination with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on mercury monitoring.
- Cooperation with Australia on ship oil leakage.
The Minister praised innovative companies in Taiwan’s private sector who are working toward the goal of a zero-waste society by finding new uses for recycled materials. For example, one of them has developed a process for converting plastic bags into bio oil, he said.
Lee holds a master’s degree in health policy from Harvard University and a doctorate in health economics from the University of North Caroline. His previous positions include member of the Legislative Yuan, Minister of the Council of Labor Affairs, and Secretary-general of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and Secretary-general of the Executive Yuan.
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