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变化就在眼前,是否视而不见?

中美两国就气候变化及清洁能源问题达成协议。这份协议的重要性或许会超出其批评者的预期。班宁•加勒特和乔纳森•亚当斯报道。

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美中两国最近在气候变化和清洁能源方面是否迈出了具有划时代意义的一步?答案是,很有可能。中美两国在评论家们的一致失望中,于七月底低调地达成了一项能够加速全球向可持续低碳经济过渡的双边合作计划。

在“战略与经济对话”(SED)接近尾声的时候中美两国签署了“有关加强气候变化,能源和环境问题合作的谅解备忘录(MOU)”。舆论普遍认为该协议并不具有颠覆性意义。然而,这些看法或许忽略了中美两国承诺进行合作的真正的战略性意义。

该谅解备忘录中签订的大部分内容是布什总统执政期间制订的政策和协议的一部分。这也就是为什么许多评论家容易轻视这份备忘录的原因。然而,当他们带着挑剔的 眼光对这份备忘录中达成的或者未达成的声明、承诺及辞令进行分析的时候,这份协议中所达成的新的战略架构却被多数人所忽略。

这一切有可能只是一些缺乏长远意义的陈词滥调。当然,如果我们无法认真、持久地贯彻执行协议中所勾勒出的合作议程的话,那么该谅解备忘录的战略影响将大打折扣。然而,我们有理由相信两国政府会切实地贯彻他们的承诺,并且在具有战略意义的项目上进行长期合作。

首先,目前两国的最高领导层对于气候变化学科都持赞同态度,并且均认为气候变化对两国及全世界而言都具有深刻的战略性影响。这是中方在过去两年中的一次重大的转变。这同样也是奥巴马总统的上任后美国的一次重大变化。其次,两国政府均承诺在各自国内加强相关政策的实施,从而促进各自的经济向清洁化和低碳化发 展。第三,两国领导人在公开场合均明确表示两国将应对气候变化的挑战,并且中美双方将在这方面展开空前的合作。此举在促进两国各级政府以及商界的努力并且 增强彼此之间合作等方面将发挥全新的、重要的作用。第四,中美两国作为世界最大的两个能源消费国和温室气体排放国将面临着来自国际社会和公众的持续增强的 压力,迫使他们不得不采取长期有效的措施来降低各自的排放,并且在降低全球温室气体排放方面展开国际合作。

当然,这些努力是否能够成 功,前景还并不明朗。两国以及整个世界的能源结构转型是一个规模庞大、耗资费时的工程。因此面临着许多的困难和障碍。美国国会内关于建立“总量管制和排放 交易”系统的争论充分证明了一些受到改革威胁的利益团体的强硬和固执。同样,中国也有一些特权阶级,他们担心的是能源转型将会损害到他们的利益,或者是担 忧转型成本高昂,以及经济增长放缓,并由此造成社会不安和政局不稳等。

然而,有一点可以肯定的是,美国和中国如果无法贯彻实施他们最新做出的应对气候变化、构建清洁能源体系、以及向低碳化经济转型的承诺的话,那么其他国家就不可能在这些方面采取行动,其实这些国家采取不采取行动都无关紧要。因为目前的趋势是, 单是中美两国所排放的温室气体量就高于全球温升低于2摄氏度的底线时所允许的全球温室气体排放总量。

中美两国参加“战略与经济对话”的高层领导人们所考虑的不可能是一个将会持续数代的世界经济体系转型战略计划。然而,这份毫不起眼的谅解备忘录却有可能在未来的10到20年内成为一个具有划时代意义的转折点。这次战略转移对全球的影响甚至可以与四十年前中美关系破冰相比。1971年7月,时任美国国家安全事务顾问的亨利·基辛格秘密到访北京,从而为中美两国建交开辟了道路。

基辛格的访华以及随后中美两国建交在全球战略环境的转变中出人意料地发挥了重要作用,并最终导致苏联的解体、冷战的结束、世界经济一体化的诞生、中国的再度崛起、以及全球化的加速等。或许通过促进全球向可持续低碳经济的战略转型,中美两国将会再度缔造其建交所产生的战略影响力。

当然,该谅解备忘录并没有给出如此宏伟的目标。但是美中签署的协议中却提出了几个关键点。这些关键点为我们指出了中美两国合作应对气候变化以及低碳转型所面临的战略挑战和合作目标。首先,此次合作建立在对两国所面临的战略威胁互相理解的基础之上,即“气候变化、清洁高效的能源、以及环境保护是美国和中国所面临的最严峻的挑战。”其次,公告中声明了中美合作所发挥的关键性作用。公告指出:“中美两国之间的合作对于增强能源安全、应对气候变化、以及保护环境和自然资源……发挥着决定性的作用。”第三,协议传达了中美之间有必要有可能开展广泛、务实的合作的思想。同时,协议还为大力加深、扩大、加速两国之间的这种合作 制订了框架。最后,同时也是最重要的一点就是,谅解备忘录中声明“两国均有意向低碳经济转型……”。

确实,许多 呼吁中美两国之间加强能源与气候合作的评论家们认为,最为重要的改变就是需要将这一问题上升到战略的高度。很多人都同意,只有这一问题成为战略重点,得到 两国高层领导的大力支持,两国政府才有可能制订出可行的长期战略,并逐步增强力度,最终达到实现真正的变化这一目标。现在,这一愿望或许已经成真。


班宁·加勒特:美国大西洋理事会亚洲项目负责人。

乔纳森·亚当斯:世界资源研究所气候与能源项目副主任

首页图片来自 U.S. Department of the Treasury:2009年7月,美国财政部长盖特纳及中国国务院副总理王岐山在于华盛顿举行的“战略与经济对话”会议上。

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Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

未来

也许是个好的开端,只是不知是否会有实实在在的后续动作?

The Future

It may be a good start. I just wonder if there will be any concrete follow-ups.

Translated by Catlin Fu

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

有待考察

如果中美两国能在哥本哈根会议上成功促成新的环境协议,那才是真正的成果。

It remains to be seen

The real fruit of the meeting lies in the new Environmental Agreement that might be successfully procured by both the US and China in the Copenhagen Conference.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

假大空

中美签署的协议太多了,没有几个具体执行过.你问问美国能源部在北京的顾问就知道了.

Lying, exaggeration and empty talk

Treaties signed by the US and China are simply too many,and few of which are actually enforced. Just ask the consultants of the U.S. Department of Energy in Beijing.
(Translated by Lei Wang)

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

中美节能合作需知己知彼

中美新能源合作的话题越来越热。但是不少人在感到欢欣鼓舞的同时,也会不自觉地问:中美到底该如何合作?实际上,中美之间关于能源的问题,尤其是在节能上,相互间存在着严重的误解以及误区。这也为这两个大国的合作蒙上了一层阴云。
先说美国。不管是美国布鲁金斯学院,还是美国皮尤全球气候变化中心的报告,抑或是美国能源部部长的朱棣文的署名文章,都犯了一个严重错误。他们认为中国和发达国家一样,要把建筑节能放在首位,但事实上,我们的制造业的能耗占到了全社会耗能的70%。

再看中国。在关于气候变化的谈判过程中,中国政府向发达国家提出了技术转让和经济援助的要求;发改委还明确表达希望发达国家每年拿出GDP的1%,大约4000亿美元,作为给中国的技术和经济援助的价码。据我所知,发达国家也并没有什么秘密节能技术,更谈不上转让。此外中国人对节能存在误解,认为“节能”就是减少多少吨煤,多少度电或者多少焦耳的用能。很多人还在说“节能不节钱”这样的外行话。其实“省钱为因,节能为果”,现在我们有点本末倒置。

中美节能合作目前为止还停留在纸上谈兵,落不到实处。因为双方要具体谈什么都不知道。那么中美之间就节能到底该如何着手?

首先,要破除对技术的迷信,世界上没有广泛适用的节能秘诀和技术,一用就灵。也许有些行业(比如化工生产)有重大的、突破性的节能工艺,那不会无条件转让给你。但美国有些技术,比如照明自动化、高效电机、能效评估手段(软件和硬件)、保温材料以及余热回收装备,值得我们进一步探讨如何合作。

其次,要了解中国到底缺少什么,有针对性地开展合作。我们最欠缺的不是技术,而是节能的“软功夫”,人的因素是关键。上至各级发改委节能主管官员、到设计人员,下至锅炉工,压缩机工,都要接受培训来提高节能管理的意识、技能和专业化水平。美国知名的大学几乎都有节能专业,我国在这方面却空白。合作培养节能人才是重中之重。

最后,我们还要认清节能的现实障碍。我国的能源供应基本垄断经营,比如电力供应只能由两三家企业来做。美国的经验表明,没有电力公司的大力支持,节能不会长久和稳定的发展。如何调和与化解“供能”和“节能”的矛盾是个难题。现在,美国有一些州已制定了法案,让电力公司的利润和销售额脱钩,以此来调动电力公司参与节能的积极性和主动性。此举值得我们借鉴。

前面谈的都是美国如何如何,那么中国又能帮助美国什么呢?在某些行业我们具有无可比拟的成本优势,我们可以在节能产品的生产这个环节发挥作用。目前全球80%的节能灯在中国生产,低价位为美国乃至全球的节能工作提供了一种低成本的办法。我看未来会有越来越多的节能产品将由中国制造。我们企业应该抓住美国和中国的节能市场机会。[email protected]

Bilateral cooperation on energy conservation between the US and China demands knowing its own situation and that of others

Nowadays, cooperation in new sustainable energy between the US and China is an increasingly hot topic. However, many people rejoice and ask spontaneously how cooperation is to be implemented. In the energy issue, especially energy saving, serious misunderstandings having appear between the two groups which cast a cloud over the cooperation of the two nations.

First, regarding the US, whether the reports from both the U.S. Brookings Institution and Pew Center on Global Climate Change or the signed article made by Steven Chu, US Department of Energy Minister, are all made a terrible mistake. As they suggested, China should give priority to building energy conservation, like many developed nations. But the fact remains that the energy consumption of manufacturing industry accounts for 70 percent of the total in China.

In terms of China, during the process of negotiations on climate change, the Chinese government made two demands of the developed countries - technology transfer and economic aid. Meanwhile, the NDRC made it clear that the developed countries should provide 1% of GDP each year, approximately US$ 400 billion, for the sake of technical assistance and financial aid to China. To my knowledge, there is not any secret power-saving technology in the developed countries, let alone transfer of them. Further, there is a widespread misperception of just what energy-saving is the quantifiable factor that the reducing consumption of coal, electricity and energy. Still, some people would say in layman's terms “energy-saving is surely not money-saving.” In fact, the purpose of energy-saving is to save money, this is putting the cart before the horse.

By now, Sino-US energy cooperation is just on paper and not in practice, because it's not exactly clear what two nations will be bringing to discuss. So what should we do to address the issue of cooperation on energy conservation?

First, many illusions and erroneous views about the technology should be shattered. There are no widely used energy-saving tips and technologies. Maybe some industries, such as the chemical industry, have a groundbreaking technology. Surely none of them will offer aid with no strings attached. But it's worth taking some trouble over getting some other technologies of the US perfectly collaborated, such as automated lighting, highly efficient motor, energy efficiency estimation system (software and hardware) , heat insulating material, waste heat recovery system , and so on.

Second, it’s necessary to analyse the problems posed by the new historical conditions in China and propose pertinent solutions. There is a marked absence of “soft”measures,not technologies. People, that is the key.From the chief executive officials in charge of energy-saving of NDRC at all levels and the designers down to boiler operators, compressor operators need to be trained to increase their consciousness,skill of energy-saving. Almost all famous universities in America offer energy-saving courses. But there is still a blank space in our higher education system. To speed up the cooperation on training of personnel in this field is a key objective.

Finally, we also recognize the reality of barriers to energy conservation. China's energy supply basic monopolistic operations, such as electricity supply can only be done by 23 companies. U.S. experience shows that there is no strong support for the power companies, energy-saving will not be long-term and stable development. How to reconcile and resolve the "energy supply" and "energy saving" in contradiction is a problem. Now, the United States, some states have developed a bill to allow the power company's profits and sales of decoupling, in order to mobilize the power companies to participate in energy-saving enthusiasm and initiative. This we can learn from.

Finally,it requires us to recognize some realistic obstacles in China. The energy supply in China is nearly monopolized, for example, the electric power supply is operated by the two or three companies. The American experience shows that carry forward the energy-saving enterprise in its long continuance and development needs considerable support from the power companies. Further work is needed to resolve the contradiction between "energy supply" and "energy saving". Some states of America have accumulated much experience in the field of energy conservation, which certainly merits our reference and study. Bills have been introduced in America to break up profits and sales of the power company. The goal of these Bills was to stimulate the company's initiative on energy-saving.

What we mentioned above is all about the US, then how can China help the US? There are some unique cost advantages in certain industries in China. We can play an important role in the production of energy saving lamp. Recently,about 80% of the earth's total number of energy saving lamp are produced in China. Low price makes possible the low-budget of energy-saving work in the US, even the global. In my opinion, more and more energy saving lamps will be made in China. Our companies ought to seize the opportunities in energy-saving market in both the US and China.
[email protected]

(Translated by Lei Wang)