Eiffel Tower in Paris

创造低碳未来的正确激励机制

柏林——上个月世界领导人在巴黎达成的气候协议得到外界的广泛称颂,因为协议雄心勃勃地设定了将全球气温控制在比前工业化水平提升2摄氏度以内的目标。但尽管迈出了重要的一步,但也仅仅是最初的一个步骤。决策者现在必须找到实现目标的方法——完成这项任务绝非易事,因为让传统智慧始料未及的是,传统能源成本节节攀升无法再对朝向低碳未来的过渡起推动作用。

乍看上去,负面经济激励的逻辑似乎非常可靠。如果驾驶高耗油车越来越贵,人们这么做的可能性或许将会变小。但燃料价格变化的影响具有局部性和延迟性。尽管从长远看司机可能购买更省油的汽车,但从短期看,他们削减其他类型开支抵消油价上涨的可能性更大。在解决气候变化这样紧迫的问题时,凯恩斯“从长远看,我们都死了”的名言显然适用。

而且,即使消费者采取有效对策,但化石燃料价格很大程度上由高度金融化的市场所决定,因此波动性极大。过去18个月石油价格急剧下降就是例证。不仅油价下降本身未能刺激削减消费;而且还破坏了开发替代能源的积极性。投资太阳能发电或许在油价超过每桶100美元时颇具吸引力,但当油价跌到每桶50美元以下吸引力就小了很多。

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