Taiwan targets 700,000-ton blue carbon reserve by 2030

Chloe Liao, Taipei; Vyra Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Taiwan is ramping up efforts in blue carbon research as it prepares to collect carbon fees in 2024, drawing attention from various sectors to carbon credit acquisition strategies.

Despite the Ministry of Environment's initial announcement restricting carbon credits to afforestation, Taiwan boasts a substantial blue carbon reserve of 350,000 tons, surpassing its terrestrial forest (green carbon) counterpart. Industry experts highlight blue carbon's superior carbon sequestration potential, attributing its stability and resilience as key advantages.

Recent studies by academia indicate that Taiwan's blue carbon reserves, predominantly in mangrove forests, yield a carbon reduction effect 2.5 times greater than conventional forests of similar size. While the Ministry of Environment's voluntary greenhouse gas reduction methods initially prioritize afforestation, experts argue that natural carbon sequestration extends beyond forests to encompass marine blue carbon and soil carbon reserves, often overlooked in previous evaluations.

In a significant stride towards blue carbon trading, Taiwan's Ocean Affairs Council has finalized the revision of the "Blue Carbon Methodology" documentation for native mangroves and seagrass beds. This initiative, submitted for review by the Ministry of Environment, aims to standardize measurement procedures and methodologies for blue carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reduction.

Additionally, partnerships between the Taiwan Ocean Research Institute and National Dong Hwa University signify a collaborative effort to establish physiological indicators for key marine species such as coral reefs and seagrasses. This collaboration seeks to bolster monitoring and survey efforts of Taiwan's blue carbon ecosystem, laying the groundwork for baseline data and methodological frameworks.

With the prospect of blue carbon integration into carbon credit trading, the Ocean Affairs Council's preliminary surveys reveal a strong corporate appetite for ocean carbon credits. Approximately 80% of surveyed companies express willingness to purchase ocean carbon credits, with nearly half prepared to pay premiums exceeding the international market average by up to 50%.

Experts underscore the enduring stability of ocean carbon sequestration as a pivotal consideration for businesses. Contrasted with terrestrial forests susceptible to risks like wildfires, the resilience of blue carbon reserves offers a compelling investment opportunity. Taiwan's island geography positions it for substantial blue carbon growth, potentially doubling its current reserves to 700,000 tons by 2030 should development efforts intensify.