Pursuing Ecological Democracy: The Role of Taiwan’s Anti-Nuclear Groups in Energy Transition

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Hua-Mei CHIU, National Sun Yat-Sen University Taiwan, Taiwan
The revitalized anti-nuclear movement in Taiwan has gained its unprecedented momentum after the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. Through massive social mobilization, the movement have resulted in the termination of the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in April 2014.In 2016, the new elected President from the DPP has promised to carry out the ‘nuclear go zero’ policy appealed by the environmental groups and to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 20% by 2025. Against this background, one can observe that the focus of the anti-nuclear movement has significantly shifted from ‘against-‘ nuclear power to ‘pro-‘ energy transition. As political opportunities appeared and some institutional channels opened, the leading anti-nuclear groups do not only have their members participating in various governmental commissions but also seek to collaborate with the government and the economic actors in order to influence the country’s energy policy and to advocate the citizens’ version of energy transition. The research explores the efforts the anti-nuclear groups and activists have made since 2014. It finds that some groups and activists have participated in the formulation of new energy policy and promoted of the democratic form of energy governance. Some activists have converted themselves to be energy prosumers, such as collectively establishing citizen power Co-op. Overall, the leading anti-nuclear groups and activists have made great efforts in pursuing a more democratic, decentralized and justice form of energy transition. How to form a democratic governance framework is an issue. Although the DPP has clearer stand on anti-nuclear power in compared with the KMT and its central and local government have opened some institutional channels for the anti-nuclear activists and scholars, the DPP is still a party generally favoring the interests of industry. The challenges of pursuing ecological democracy in energy transition is still tremendous.