Polluting power station Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

碳定价起飞

波恩—今年,重创加勒比地区、德克萨斯州和佛罗里达州的飓风淹没了高速公路,摧毁了住房和企业,造成了人员伤亡。洪水已经退去,但剧变的景象仍然镌刻在我们的集体记忆中。恢复需要多年甚至几十年,以及数十亿美元资金。

The Year Ahead 2018

The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

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专家们告诉我们,海洋变暖让飓风变得更加强力,而人为气候变暖的其他后果——从非洲之角的严重干旱到亚洲的极端洪水——让数百万人失去了粮食和基本住所。但尽管燃烧化石燃料和致命天气之间的关系多年来越来越紧密,决策者却并不总能听进警告声。

这一点正在迅速改变。如今,全世界国家、公民和越来越多的企业终于开始行动起来了。这个月,数千人将齐聚德国波恩参加联合国气候变化会议,提升遏制气候变化的全球目标。两年前巴黎气候协定取得成功后,人们对取得更大进步和保持合作的期望很高。

近期更令人憧憬的计划之一是碳定价领导联盟(CPLC),该计划集合了30个国家的政府和180多家企业和战略合作伙伴,为二氧化碳排放制定价格。其思想很简单:要想实现巴黎协定的目标,即将全球平均气温限制在前工业化水平以上2℃以内——理想的情况是前工业化水平以上1.5℃以内——就必须大幅削减排放。作为CPLC的联职主席,我们相信削减二氧化碳排放的最佳办法之一,是将吸热气体所造成的社会和经济成本,从公众身上转嫁给污染者。

随着气候紧迫感的日益增加,免费污染、让子孙后代买单已经日益令人难以接受。给碳定价是减少全球排放、同时鼓励可持续和稳健经济增长的最有效的办法。此外,通过给污染制定价格,政府能够获得收入用于清洁能源、学校和医疗等方面的投资,从而一举两得。

当然,最终的目标是鼓励企业净化它们的行为,如今,越来越多的商界领袖认识到碳定价是遏制气候变化的最佳办法之一。他们还认识到,即使花力气降低排放,他们的企业仍然可以兴旺发展。

事实上,许多商界领袖是有效碳定价的最热情的支持者。就在上个月,碳披露计划(Carbon Disclosure Project)指出,全世界制定了内部碳定价机制计划的公司数量已经达到了近1,400家,而2014年只有150家。这其中包括100多家全球最大公司,它们的年收入达到了7万亿美元。皇家帝斯曼公司(Royal DSM由本文作者之一领导)制定了每吨50欧元的碳价格,与米其林、达能和通用汽车等跨国公司一起运用有意义的碳定价来让业务“与时俱进”。

包括加拿大在内的大约40个国家还为碳污染制定了价格,更多的政府正在准备实施类似的制度。2015年,中国宣布建立世界最大规模的碳定价系统。今年早些时候,安大略省、魁北克省和加利福尼亚州签订协议,建立了世界第二大碳市场。

这一趋势必须保持下去——既为了环境,也是出于经济考虑。2017年5月的一项碳定价高规格委员会(High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices)的研究——该委员会由两位世界顶尖经济学家约瑟夫·斯蒂格利茨(Joseph E. Stiglitz)和尼古拉斯·斯特恩(Nicholas Stern)主持——发现,制定“强势碳定价”不但是减少全球排放的关键,也是保持创新和增长的关键。

平心而论,为碳污染制定价格必须成为让我们的经济和社会与时俱进的大行动的一部分。要进一步减少温室气体排放、培养经济自生能力,我们必须改善公共交通;建设能源效率高的建筑;支持企业、创新者和投资者寻找清洁能源方案的努力。这正是加拿大正在做的,因为我们知道,这些政策能够减少排放,帮助创造高薪新就业岗位。

人们常说,气候变化既是挑战,也是机会。通过为碳污染定价、理顺我们的集体能力,我们能够解决挑战,抓住机会。将各国和企业的创新和企业家精神集合起来,我们就能遏制气候变化,强化我们的经济和社会,让我们的子孙后代拥有更加健康的地球。

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