Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Taiwan.
Taiwan is in an unfortunate position- it is committed to tackling the climate crisis, but as it is not recognised as a sovereign state by most world agencies, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its potential to make meaningful changes is severely hindered as it cannot access international finance for green projects. However, the country has participated in the UNFCCC proceedings as an NGO called the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) since 1991.
The island nation is the world’s 29th biggest polluter and is 98% dependent on energy imports. A planned nuclear phase out, an insufficient infrastructure for the import and distribution of natural gas and inefficient financial frameworks to make solar and wind energy competitive with cheaper hydrocarbons are obstacles to pursuing climate action. Coal power plants make up 46% of the power supply which will grow with the nuclear phase out.
- Taiwan passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management act in 2015, establishing a 50% emission reduction goal by 2050 relative to 2005 levels.
- There are also working toward a targeted 20% renewable share, along with 50% low-carbon natural gas share by 2025. This would imply a 30% reduction in coal-powered electricity.
- Taiwan’s lack of recognition on the international level has excluded it from the UNFCCC, meaning it has no access to climate transition financing. This make the clean energy transition extremely difficult to execute without harming their competitive edge.
* Taiwan has been left out of these rankings.
You might also like: Global Emissions (2016)
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.