Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) Taiwan ranked third to last in the latest Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), the worst rating the country has ever received in the index, according to results published Tuesday.
The index was jointly presented by Germanwatch, the NewClimate Institute and the Climate Action Network at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Taiwan received the worst rating of "very low" in three of the four categories evaluated in the index, namely, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, and energy use.
These categories analyzed data from 2017, and account for 40 percent, 20 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of the final score.
In the fourth category of climate policy, which analyzed each country's most recent climate policy developments and accounts for 20 percent of the final score, Taiwan received a slightly better "low" rating.
The CCPI's analysis shows that Taiwan's greenhouse gas emissions remained flat from 2010 to 2016, but increased in 2017. The country was also a long way from its target of obtaining 20 percent of total energy supply from renewable energy sources in 2017.
The top ranked countries in the 2020 CCPI were Sweden (4th), Denmark (5) and Morocco (6). No nation was ranked above 4th place as no country was deemed to be making enough progress to prevent dangerous climate change.
In Asia, India (9) was the only country to receive a "high" rating. China, the largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, was ranked 30th, largely due to implementing an emissions trading scheme.
Thailand (33) and Indonesia (39) were both given a "low" ranking, while Japan (51), Malaysia (53) and South Korea (58) were ranked "very low".
At the bottom of the table is Taiwan (59), followed by Saudi Arabia (60th) and the United States (61st), marking the first time the U.S. has placed last.
In response to the results, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) released a press statement Wednesday.
As Taiwan is not a part of the many international organizations from which the CCPI obtains its quantitative data, the data analyzed could be outdated or inaccurate, the EPA said.
Another factor that could unfairly influence the results is the climate policy category, the EPA said. This category is evaluated by experts in each country via questionnaire, and it is unclear how the CCPI translates these answers into numbers, it added.
The EPA noted that due to different methodologies the same country could receive very different scores from different indexes.
For instance, Taiwan ranked 23rd out of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index released in 2018 by Yale University and Columbia University, and was behind only Japan in Asia, the EPA pointed out.
Wu Cheng-cheng (吳澄澄), a researcher at environmental organization Green Citizens' Action Alliance, told CNA that although the methodology used by the index could be an issue, Taiwan should still work towards the targets set by the index and draw up long-term goals for energy transition.
However, Tsai Chung-yueh (蔡中岳), deputy director at Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan, said he thought it unlikely the government would do so.