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Development of a Legal Framework for Climate Change in Taiwan: Lessons from Europe and Germany

Anton Ming-Zhi Gao


To combat climate change, many countries are eager to develop emissions reduction policies and adopt related legislation. When we examine the measures taken around the world, the European Union is playing a leading role in the establishment of the climate change policy and an associated legal framework. The importance of the role of the European Union is demonstrated not only by the fact that it was the first region to adopt cap-and-trade for greenhouse gas emissions, but also by its prominent role in promoting renewable energy and encouraging energy efficient behavior. Experience from Europe and its Member States can provide invaluable lessons for Asian countries, including Taiwan. Because of its unclear international status, Taiwan is not a formal member state of either UNFCCC or the Kyoto Protocol, but has long been voluntarily participating in the discussion and implementation of emission reduction targets as an obligation of “non-Annex I” countries. For instance, immediately after the Copenhagen Accord, Taiwan proposed its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and its implementation comprehensive policy framework, referred to as the “2010 Master Plan on Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction.” However, according to the recent statistics on GHG emissions, Taiwan’s emission reduction efforts continue to be inadequate. Therefore, in order to understand the weaknesses in Taiwan’s climate change policy and legal framework, this article will investigate the European experience in the hope of discovering some key factors that can improve Taiwan’s success in this regard.


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