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中国要成为应对气候变化的领袖并非易事

更新时间:2017-6-5 10:52:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Can China Take the Lead on Climate Change? That Could Be Difficult
中国要成为应对气候变化的领袖并非易事

As the weeks before an autumn summit meeting in Beijing between the presidents of the United States and China ticked down, John F. Kerry, then the American secretary of state, tried to seal a deal on climate change.

随着为美国总统和中国国家主席那年秋天在北京举行元首会晤的几周准备工作接近尾声,美国国务卿约翰·F·克里在想方设法让达成气候变化协议成为定局。

He invited China’s senior envoy, Yang Jiechi, to a lunch at Legal Sea Foods overlooking the harbor in Boston, Mr. Kerry’s hometown. Mr. Kerry noted that the harbor had once been badly polluted but that government efforts and regulations had rejuvenated it.

他邀请了中国高级外交官杨洁篪在俯瞰波士顿港的Legal Sea Foods餐厅共进午餐,波士顿是克里的老家。克里说,波士顿港曾被严重污染,但政府的努力和环境法规已使港口恢复了新生。

That meeting nudged China further into climate talks that would result in President Obama and President Xi Jinping making a landmark announcement in November 2014 that set hard emissions reduction targets for the two nations and energized global negotiations for the Paris Agreement.

那次午餐推动了中国在气候谈判上走得更远,带来了奥巴马总统和习近平主席在2014年11月做出里程碑式宣布的结果,中美两国制定严格减排目标的宣布,为《巴黎协定》的全球谈判增添了活力。

Under the Obama administration, tough face-to-face conversations between officials from the two countries were critical in getting China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, to announce commitments and to step up in stressing the need for global efforts to limit the effects of climate change.

在奥巴马执政时期,中美两国官员进行的面对面的艰难对话,对促使中国宣布减排承诺、对限制气候变化影响的全球努力的必要性站出来表态至关重要,中国是世界上最大的温室气体排放国。

With Washington now ceding global leadership on climate change and at least temporarily halting its partnership with Beijing, China may find it hard to fill the vacuum. Some of China’s biggest strides in recent years came through joint efforts with the United States and their mostly friendly superpower rivalry on renewable energy.

现在,当华盛顿把应对气候变化的全球领导地位拱手让出、并至少暂停与北京在这方面的伙伴关系时,中国可能会发现,填补真空并非易事。近年来,中国在这方面取得的一些最大进步,靠的都是中美两国的共同努力、以及两国在可再生能源行业很大程度上友好的超级大国竞争关系。

China must now be the world’s standard-bearer by default while trying to resolve sharp internal divisions on its own energy future. Its leaders insist that nations should abide by the Paris agreement, despite the decision by President Trump to withdraw the United States, historically the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, from the accord.

中国正在力图解决本国在未来能源问题上存在的尖锐内部分歧,美国的缺席,让中国不得不在此时出来担当世界领袖。中国领导人坚称,世界各国应该遵守《巴黎协定》,尽管特朗普总统宣布了美国将退出协定的决定,美国是历史上全球最大的温室气体排放国。

But the importance of Washington in laying the foundation for the Paris accord was evident, for example, in the negotiations between the United States and India, the third-largest emitter of greenhouses gases. Only after a series of meetings between Mr. Obama and Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, did India announce more ambitious climate commitments.

但是,在为达成巴黎协议奠定基础上,华盛顿的重要性显而易见,这表现在比如美国与印度的谈判上,印度是第三大温室气体排放国。只是在奥巴马总统和印度总理纳伦德拉·莫迪举行了一系列会晤之后,印度才宣布了更雄心勃勃的气候变化承诺。

“Reaching an agreement in Paris depended on the United States, China and a small group of key countries pushing each other to be ambitious in their targets and holding each other accountable,” said Jonathan Finer, former chief of staff and director of policy planning at the State Department. “This same dynamic should have resulted in an ongoing effort to ratchet up the fight against climate change, which everyone knows is necessary to actually address it. The United States pulling out takes a lot of that pressure off.”

“能在巴黎达成协议靠的是美国、中国,以及一小批关键国家,它们在承诺更加雄心勃勃的目标上相互推动,也相互监督,”国务院前幕僚长兼政策规划主任乔纳森·芬内(Jonathan Finer)说。“同样的互动本该为加强应对气候变化的努力带来持续不断的推动作用,人们都知道这对问题的实际解决必不可少。美国的退出减少了这方面的压力。”

For now, public affirmations of the Paris agreement by Chinese leaders send a strong signal to other nations that might be wavering in the wake of the withdrawal by the United States. On Thursday, Li Keqiang, prime minister of China, said during a visit to Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel that “step by step, and very arduously, together with other countries, we will work toward the goals set.”

就目前而言,中国领导人对巴黎协定的公开肯定,是对美国退出后可能会摇摆不定的其他国家发出的强烈信号。周四,中国总理李克强在德国访问期间与德国总理安格拉·默克尔会面时表示,中国将“一步一步、扎扎实实地与世界各国一起,向制定的目标努力迈进”。

China has strong domestic reasons to change its energy structure to increase its sources of energy from nonfossil fuel while limiting its use of coal. Ridding cities of air pollution from the use of coal is a priority for some leaders. Mr. Li has stressed that the government is waging a “war on pollution.”

中国有很强的国内原因要改变自身的能源结构,增加非化石燃料能源的使用,同时限制煤炭的使用。消除燃煤给城市带来的空气污染是一些领导人的首要任务。李克强曾用政府正在对“污染宣战”的说法来强调这项工作的重要性。

But on Friday, Mr. Li and European leaders in Brussels failed, because of a trade policy dispute, to endorse a joint statement on climate change. The two sides made public affirmations in Berlin on Thursday and in Brussels on Friday to work with each other.

但在周五,由于在贸易政策上的争议,李克强和布鲁塞尔的欧洲领导人未能在气候变化问题上宣布一项联合声明。中欧双方周四曾在柏林发表有关申明,周五,双方在布鲁塞尔表示将继续合作。

Earlier, it was the United States, and not China, that pushed India to make commitments ahead of the Paris summit meeting, even if it was China that helped set an example for large developing nations in the announcement in 2014 by Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi. In 2015, Mr. Kerry took the unusual step of attending a trade fair in Mr. Modi’s home state of Gujarat, India, in order to prod Mr. Modi on climate change policy and pave the way for a visit by Mr. Obama, who aimed to make the Paris agreement a top priority of discussion with Mr. Modi.

最初,推动印度在巴黎首脑会议之前作出承诺的是美国,而不是中国,虽然奥巴马和习近平在2014年的宣布对中国为发展中大国树立榜样有所帮助。2015年,为了在气候变化政策上鼓励莫迪,同时也为奥巴马访问印度铺平道路(奥巴马把与莫迪讨论巴黎协定作为那次访问的首要任务),克里曾采取了一个不同寻常的做法,他参加了在莫迪家乡、印度古吉拉特邦举办的一个贸易展览会。

There is still internal resistance in China by some powerful parties to policies cutting the use of coal and other fossil fuels. Those interests include the state-owned energy companies. Some Chinese scholars say global efforts on climate change, with the Obama administration at the forefront, gave ammunition to Chinese officials trying to push through energy restructuring in the face of resistance from companies that profit from the consumption of fossil fuel.

在减少煤炭等化石燃料使用的政策问题上,中国内部仍存在着一些来自强有力部门的内部阻力。其中包括国有能源企业等利益集团。一些中国学者认为,以奥巴马政府为首的全球应对气候变化的努力,为试图推动能源结构调整的中国官员提供了所需的武器,这些官员面临着来自从化石燃料消耗中获利的公司的抵制。

“The talk of climate change actions is very important because energy reforms will inevitably hurt some vested interests,” said Lin Boqiang, an energy scholar at Xiamen University who has advised PetroChina, the big Chinese oil producer. “Such talk has created favorable conditions for energy reforms, without which many things would have been impossible.

“使用气候变化行动的语言非常重要,因为能源改革将不可避免地伤害一些既得利益,”厦门大学的能源学者林伯强说,他曾为大型国有石油生产商中石化当顾问。“这种语言为能源改革创造了有利条件,没有这种语言,许多事情会变得很难办。”

“For instance, solar and wind subsidies were possible because the climate change agenda has forced policy makers to turn to a low-carbon economic model,” he said. “We know that China has a lot of coal and it’s very cheap, so without climate change promises we wouldn’t be talking about the low-carbon economy now, and industries such as that of electric cars would have faced more hurdles.”

“比如,气候变化议程迫使决策者转向低碳经济模式,这就让为太阳能和风能提供补贴成为可能,”他说。“我们知道中国有很多煤,而且煤很便宜,如果没有气候变化的承诺,我们目前不会谈论低碳经济,像电动汽车这样的行业也会面临更多的障碍。”

Mr. Lin added: “China is now No. 1 in the world in installed capacity of wind and solar power. This would not be possible without all the talk about climate change and a low-carbon economy.”

林伯强还说:“中国目前的风电和太阳能发电装机容量世界第一。如果没有有关气候变化和低碳经济的讨论,这是不可能的。”

But there is still conflict in China over deployment of electricity generated by wind and solar sources. Because energy companies with coal-fired power plants have advantages in setting up contracts with China’s two main grid companies, wind and solar power companies have not been as successful as they should be in getting their electricity on the grid, energy analysts say. Coal-based power plants are guaranteed sales to the state-owned grid enterprises, so energy companies continue to build such plants, even though the existing ones are operating at low capacity, a sign of a glut.

但是,中国在风电和太阳能发电的使用问题上仍存在着矛盾。由于拥有燃煤发电厂的能源企业与中国两大电网公司在签订上网合同上有优势,风电和太阳能发电企业在让其电力上网上不如想象的那么成功,能源分析师说。燃煤发电厂在向国有电网企业销售电力上有保障,因此能源企业仍在不断建设这类发电厂,尽管现有的燃煤发电厂在低负荷运行,表明产能已经过剩。

Mr. Lin and other experts say such conflicts can be resolved in favor of clean energy if big countries, including the United States, keep up the global push on climate change. The retreat of the United States strengthens the positions of those who support wider use of fossil fuels, a stand that President Trump and a top adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, also take.

林伯强和其他专家说,如果包括美国在内的大国继续推动全球应对气候变化的努力,这种矛盾可以通过有利于清洁能源的方法得到解决。美国的退出强化了支持更广泛地使用化石燃料的人的立场,这也是特朗普总统及其主要顾问斯蒂芬·班农所持的立场。

Addressing climate change has also played a role in a wider economic debate in China. It has helped officials wanting to make the case that China needs to move from its carbon-intensive economic growth model based on the development of infrastructure to a more consumer-driven model, which would produce lower emissions. Here, too, the United States withdrawal weakens the positions of those officials and bolsters opponents of this more radical economic transformation.

应对气候变化也对中国更广泛的经济讨论起一种作用,对那些想让中国经济转型的官员有所帮助。这些官员认为,中国需要从以基础设施建设为主导的碳密集型经济增长模式,转向更多地依赖消费者的较低碳排放的增长模式。在这个问题上,美国的退出也削弱了这些官员的地位,加强了反对更激进的经济转型的人的地位。

Alex L. Wang, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies Chinese environmental regulation, said that while Chinese leaders remained committed to the Paris agreement, “the headwinds on implementation of climate goals remain strong.”

洛杉矶加州大学法学教授王立德(Alex L. Wang)从事中国环境法规的研究,他说,虽然中国领导人仍承诺遵守巴黎协定,但“实现气候目标所面临的阻力仍然很大”。

“Coal still accounts for 62 percent of China’s energy consumption,” Professor Wang said. “Millions of jobs are still tied to coal, steel and other carbon-intensive industries. Powerful vested interests will continue to push for a slowdown in Chinese climate action. There will be a temptation to shift carbon-intensive activities to western China and abroad. Efforts to improve data quality and transparency are ongoing, but require political resolve and resources. The U.S. exit from the Paris agreement only helps those interests within China opposed to climate action.”

“煤炭在中国能源消耗中仍占62%的比例,”王立德说。“数以百万计的工作岗位仍依赖于煤炭、钢铁和其他碳密集型行业。强大的既得利益将继续推动中国放缓应对气候变化的行动。将会有把碳密集型活动转移到中国西部和国外的诱惑。虽然提高数据质量和透明度的努力正在进行,但这需要政治决心和资源。美国退出巴黎协定只会对中国内部反对气候行动的利益集团有利。”

“The dynamic between the U.S. and China in recent years created a healthy competition on clean energy and climate change,” he added. “That dynamic has already faltered as Trump has pulled back on climate action. A full exit from the Paris agreement will be a final nail in the coffin.”

“中美两国近几年来的互动,为清洁能源和应对气候变化创造了一种健康的竞争,”他补充说。“由于特朗普在气候行动上的退缩,这种互动已在减弱。彻底退出巴黎协定将导致中美在这个问题上的合作终结。”

How proactive on climate change will China be? The Paris accord was written so that countries would push one another to make more ambitious commitments in the coming years, with the biggest emitters in the lead.

中国在应对气候变化上将会多积极主动?巴黎协定的写法让世界各国在今后几年中能相互推动,对减排做出更雄心勃勃的承诺,这需要最大的排放国能领先做出承诺。

“I would hope that China would play a constructive leadership role and recognize that their partner the United States will be back at the table one of these days,” said Todd D. Stern, the former United States special envoy for climate change in the Obama administration. “And one of these days might be just a few years from now.”

“我希望中国能发挥建设性的领导作用,并认识到他们的伙伴美国总有一天会重新参与进来,”曾在奥巴马政府担任首席气候变化谈判代表的托德·D·斯特恩(Todd D. Stern)说。“所谓总有一天,也许距今只有几年的时间。”

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