Taiwan’s Polycentric Strategy Within the Environmental Regime Complex on Climate Change

  • Reinhard Biedermann (Autor/in)


For decades, Taiwan has tried to become part of the global climate mitigation program within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). While these endeavors have been ineffective, a transnational regime complex on climate change mitigation has still emerged over the years. In recent years Taiwan’s sovereignty-centered approach has transformed toward this polycentric climate regime, which includes many different actors and methods in the private, public, and epistemic communities. Taiwan’s adaptation and planning toward trends in international and transnational climate governance includes commitment to the Paris Agreement, plans for comprehensive unilateral measures, participation in transparency institutions, financial market mechanisms, and taking bilateral as well as multilateral approaches. Taiwan’s polycentric strategy within the regime complex for climate change mitigation may make the country a leader in this field in East Asia. Considerable doubts remain about Taiwan’s carbon-pricing policy, and its strategy to offload its emissions on developing countries in its region in exchange for them offering investment and business opportunities. Transnational governance mechanisms do not change Taiwan’s international legal situation, but they do give the country opportunities and global connectivity that it could not exploit if the world system was to solely rely on international law — and therefore they throw Taiwan a lifeline.


Transnational governance, regime complex, multi-stakeholder diplomacy, environmental governance, East Asia, political economy, climate change mitigation