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[经济学人] [2009.09.24] Avoiding a crash at Copenhagen 避免在哥本哈根撞车

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发表于 2010-4-28 22:17 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Climate change
气候变化

Avoiding a crash at Copenhagen
避免在哥本哈根撞车

Sep 24th 2009
From The Economist print edition


How to get negotiations on the right track for a deal
如何将谈判纳入正轨,达成协议





THE diplomatic process leading up to the climate-change conference in Copenhagen in December is gathering speed. Preparatory meetings are flashing by: the Major Economies Forum last week, the UN climate-change summit and the G20 this week, pre-Copenhagen negotiations in Bangkok next week. The people who run the world are burning carbon like never before to try to agree a successor treaty to the Kyoto protocol.

12月哥本哈根将举行气候变化大会,为此做准备的外交程序正在加速进行。各种预备会议你方唱罢我登场:上周举行了大国经济论坛,本周召开联合国气候变化峰会和二十国集团峰会,下周将在曼谷举行哥本哈根大会的会前谈判。主宰世界的这帮人正以前所未有的规模燃烧碳燃料,他们试图继京都议定书之后达成一项协议。

That so much energy is being focused on solving this most intractable of problems is a good thing. Unfortunately, much of it is misdirected. The Kyoto protocol was a flawed treaty, and if negotiators continue to follow its precepts too slavishly, the world risks ending up with a diplomatic train-wreck.

为解决这一最难解决的问题投入如此这般精力是一件好事。然而,大部分精力都没有用对地方。京都议定书原本就是一个草案,如果谈判代表们继续对它的条款亦步亦趋的话,这辆外交列车脱轨的风险后果将由全世界一同承担。

Stalled in the Senate
立法进程参议院受阻


Over the past year things have been looking up for the effort to avert serious climate change. In America President Barack Obama is committed and the House of Representatives has passed the Waxman-Markey bill to curb emissions. In Japan the change of government has produced a pledge to reduce emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020. And at the UN summit China’s president, Hu Jintao, promised to cut the carbon intensity of China’s economy by a “notable margin” by 2020.

过去的一年,由于人们尽力避免严重的气候变化,情况一直在好转。在美国,总统巴拉克·奥巴马作出承诺且众议院通过了瓦克斯曼—马尔凯法案限制二氧化碳排放。 在日本,政府更迭诞生了一项承诺,在2020年以前从1990年的水平上再减少25%的排放。在联合国峰会上,中国国家主席胡锦涛承诺,在2020年之前使中国经济活动的碳排放强度有“明显幅度”的减少。

But in recent months the political process in America has stalled. The administration’s problem was always going to be the Senate, which decides whether to ratify international treaties, and doesn’t much like doing so. The deal agreed upon at Kyoto, which required developed countries to bind themselves internationally to numerical targets, was anathema. The Senate had made it clear it would reject the Kyoto protocol well before George Bush had abandoned it.

但在最近几个月,美国的这项政治进程已经搁置。这届政府的问题总是出在参议院,是否批准国际条约由那里决定,而在这方面它一向不怎么积极。参议院十分反感京都议定书规定发达国家接受国际约束,达成一系列数值目标。它明确表示,即便乔治·布什没有放弃京都议定书,参议院可能老早就提出反对了。

The administration’s plan was to get legislation in place before Copenhagen. But many senators do not much like the Waxman-Markey bill either, and it is unlikely to be passed before the summit, if at all. The administration therefore faces the prospect of going to Copenhagen without domestic legislation in place, and of either committing itself to a numerical target (acceptable to the foreigners but not the Senate) or failing to commit itself to one (more acceptable to the Senate but not to the foreigners). And a bust-up in Copenhagen would make it harder to get legislation passed next year.

奥巴马政府计划在哥本哈根大会之前把立法事宜准备就绪。但许多参议员们也不很赞同瓦克斯曼—马尔凯法案,就算准备好了立法,要在峰会前通过可能性也不大。因此,奥巴马政府可能要在国内立法悬而未决的情况下前往哥本哈根,要么作出承诺完成数值目标(迎合国际社会,却拗不过参议院),要么不能作此承诺(更受参议院支持,但会遭到国际社会反对)。而哥本哈根大会若谈判失败,明年再通过立法的难度就更大了。

There is an alternative: moving the negotiations onto a different diplomatic track. Kyoto’s approach has not obviously paid off. Global carbon-dioxide emissions have grown by 25% since the protocol was adopted in 1997. That is partly because the treaty left out big emissions sources such as deforestation (see article), but also because potential participants were put off by the idea of internationally binding commitments.

将谈判纳入另一条外交轨道不失为一种选择。京都议定书并没有起到明显作用。自从1997年议定书生效以来,全球二氧化碳排放已经增长了25%。不仅由于议定书遗漏了重大排放源,例如焚林(见文章),也因为承诺接受国际约束的理念阻碍了潜在的参与者。

Australia has proposed another route. All countries would come up with a “national schedule” of programmes, such as cap-and-trade and low-carbon regulations. Developed countries would also specify an amount by which they mean to reduce their emissions. These commitments would have the force of domestic law, but would not be subject to international sanctions. That’s probably what Mr Obama meant when he spoke at the summit of the need for countries to “stand behind” their commitments. American legislators would find this more palatable; so would developing countries, which fear that internationally binding commitments could be used as justifications for imposing tariffs on them.

澳大利亚提出了另一条路线。各国应该提出减排规划的“国家时间表”,比如排放限制与额度交易和低碳制度。发达国家还要明确减排的额度。这些承诺应当具有国内法律的效力,而不属于国际制裁的范畴。这可能就是奥巴马总统在峰会上所说的,国家有必要充当他们承诺的“后盾”的真实含义。美国的立法委员们可能更认可这种做法。发展中国家也是如此。这些国家担心承诺接受国际约束可能被利用来为向它们征收关税正名。

Opponents of this approach complain that unless the targets are internationally binding, and there is a compliance mechanism to enforce them, any global agreement will be toothless. Yet Kyoto, in truth, has no teeth. In theory, it has a compliance mechanism: countries that fail to meet their targets in one period will be expected to make even bigger cuts in the next. But it will not be enforced. At the last count, Canada had overshot its Kyoto target by 29%, and everybody knows it will not be punished. Nor are internationally binding targets necessary for getting countries to cut emissions. China, while resisting such targets, may have done more to curb emissions growth than any other country in recent years. And measures that have the force of domestic law are more likely to stick than those signed up to in a treaty under diplomatic pressure.

反对这种做法的人们指出,除非这些目标具有国际约束力,且执行起来有章可循,否则任何全球协议都将失去威信。而京都议定书实际上就没有威信。理论上,它有一套遵循机制:一定时期内不能达成减排目标的国家,下一个时期的减排任务将更大。但这无法执行。最新数据显示,加拿大已经超标排放29%,但地球人都知道它不会受到制裁。促使各国减少排放,也没有必要制定具有国际约束力的目标。尽管中国抗拒这些目标,但近年来或许没有任何一国在控制排放增长方面做过中国这么多工作。相比迫于外交压力签订的条约上的规定,具有国内法律效力的措施更可能产生作用。

If America is prepared to commit itself to internationally binding targets, all well and good. But insisting that there is no alternative, as most of its negotiating partners do publicly, is dangerous. If its senators feel America is being pushed too far too fast, they will be less inclined to commit the country to emissions cuts; and, whatever Mr Obama’s inclinations, promises that are not backed by lawmakers won’t stick in the long run. There is not much time before Copenhagen, but there is enough to open up an alternative track.

如果美国准备承诺接受国际约束达成减排目标,倒也差强人意。而像美国的大多数谈判伙伴公开的行为那样,坚称别无选择则是危险之举。如果美国的参议员们感到美国被逼得太紧,他们将不大倾向于国家作出减排保证。且不论奥巴马总统意下如何,从长远来看立法者不支持的许诺将不会生效。哥本哈根大会近在眼前,另辟一条谈判轨道仍大有可为。
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:32 | 显示全部楼层
in Copenhagen in December    12月?
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发表于 2010-4-28 22:47 | 显示全部楼层
in Copenhagen in December    12月?

不好意思。
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