It has been over a week since the 219 Anti-Air Pollution March drew to a close. The government has responded to the people’s appeal by promising its determination to cooperate with the corporates and the public on anti-air pollution and against global warming. However, the government also declared it would take time to make a change.
On the day of the March, tens of thousands of people were on the streets of Taichung and Kaohsiung, voicing their discontent of the inequality of air-breathing quality in result of health comparing with those living in northern Taiwan, where air pollution is not as serious a problem. There were even many political figures and scholars participated in and endorsed for the March.
Our partners from 350 Taiwan, Martin, Claire and Grace were on-site to show 350.org’s concern and support for Taiwan’s air pollution issue.
“It is good to see that so many people joined the March this time! More and more people are willing to voice for environmental issues. We sincerely hope that the divestment information and tools provided by 350 Taiwan Team can help people with further actions, do more on climate change issues besides protesting on the streets and substantially influence the fossil fuel industries! Let’s keep Taiwan moving forward!” – 350 Taiwan Green Banks project coordinator Martin Su
“Since when has it cost to breathe clean air? At the March I’ve heard various groups’ demands: ‘I pay tax! I deserve to have clean air!’ ‘I don’t want to wear masks during PE classes!’ I also saw so many parents taking their children to the March, and doctors who are busy with works hit the brick. I’m touched that more and more people are willing to stand out for environmental issues, but I’m also upset at the government for disregarding people’s health and basic rights.
350 Taiwan hopes that with fossil fuel divestment, we can change how resources are consumed and make the environment sustainable!” – 350 Taiwan Social Media communications coordinator Claire Wang
“At the March I’ve heard so many people’s heartfelt wishes: ‘We’re all striving to make money, to buy air purifiers and buy back our health.’ ‘The common childhood memory of children living in southern Taiwan is to remember to bring masks whenever going outdoors.’
While we burn fossil fuels out of pursuit for economic development, our own health and the next generation’s future are also being burned. People stood out to voice the environmental impact fossil fuel industries bring just to find back the blue sky that had long disappeared. 350 Taiwan Team hopes that through fossil fuel divestment, we can be faster on our way to the pursuit for the blue sky and our health that we’ve long lost.” – 350 East Asia Fossil Free Visualization project coordinator Grace Ho
The air pollution problem in central and southern Taiwan is not something recent. From long ago, people living in central and southern Taiwan had to put up with various toxicants in the air, such as PM2.5, PM10, SOx and NOx, breathing air that is ten-fold or even thousand-fold dirtier than that of northern Taiwan. In spite of the fact that lots of highly pollutant factories are built in central and southern Taiwan, we also have two coal power plants that respectively rank first and sixth in carbon emissions in the world in Longjing, Taichung and Mailiao, Yunlin, both locating in central Taiwan.
350.org is an international environmental organization dedicated to developing grassroots climate actions around the globe. As you might know, fossil fuel industries are also one of the main culprit regarding air pollution. That is why we have been keenly working on fossil fuel divestment actions.
Concerning Taiwan’s air pollution problems, our director of 350.org, May Boeve, specifically presented her support for Taiwan’s anti-air pollution action. At the mean time, May also hopes that after the March, people can still keep an eye on the issues of fossil fuels consumption and air pollution, and can do more to make a change!
This year in May, 350.org also launched a Global Divestment Mobilisation. If you want to make a change, please keep track with us to know more about the Global Divestment Mobilisation event in Taiwan.
“The movement for clean air and a healthy climate just got a major boost during Taiwan’s anti air pollution marches last week. Our movement is growing fast–and even though we’ll never have the money of the industry we’re trying to change, these photos from the march demonstrate true creativity–which is the currency we work in! Next up is the Global Divestment Mobilization in May!” – 350 Director May Boeve