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新氣候政策:追蹤世界上最富有者

時間:2011-01-15 13:20 點擊:
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為了公平地劃分富有者和貧窮者之間的氣候改變戰,一項新的研究建議把減排的方向對準富有人群的數量,在一個國家,這些富有人群也是最大的溫室氣體排放者。

既然全球溫室氣體一半來自不到一億的富有人群,那么當建立減少二氧化碳排放的國家目標的時候,也應該主要考慮這些富有的人群。周一作者在《美國科學院院刊》上發表上面的看法。

現在,在京都議定書下,富有的國家應該為減少促進全球變暖的氣體的排放承擔更大的責任,同時,發展中國家包括快速經濟發展國家如中國和印度,不需要控制溫室氣體污染。

富有國家,特別是美國,認為這給了發展中國家一個不公平的經濟優勢。中國、印度和其他發展中國家認為發達國家在歷史上已經產生了更多的溫室氣體,而發展中國家需要時間來趕上發達國家。

研究建議可以建立一個針對每個人排放二氧化碳的統一的國際最高限額。既然富有的人排放的更多,無論他們生活在富有國家或者貧窮國家,他們就更有可能達到或者超過這個限額。

例如:如果世界上的領導人在2030年同意控制碳排放到他們現在處的同樣水平,那么每年每個人的排放量不會超過11噸。那也就意味著2030年在計劃中8.1億的世界人口減少一個億的高排放源。

每個人的排放

通過計算有可能超過這個水平的所有人的排放量,世界領導人們可以對每個國家提供目標減排量。現在,每個人每年世界平均碳排放量大約是5噸,每個歐洲人產生量是10噸,而每個美國人的產生量是20噸。

國際氣候演講這個星期在意大利召開,大多數造成污染的國家都參加了會議,作者希望政策制定者們應該關注富有人群和他們的二氧化碳排放量之間的有力聯系。

研究的發起者之一,普林斯頓大學環境學院的Shoibal Chakravarty說:“如果你正在根據國家人口的比例分派減少排放污染物的任務,那么通常你在做最大的損害。

富人的生活趨向于放出更多的溫室氣體,因為他們會更多駕駛燃油汽車,更頻繁的坐飛機旅行,生活在大房子了,從而需要更多的燃料來取暖或者制冷。

Chakravarty電話采訪時說:“通過聚焦每個地方的富人,無論是在富有國家或者貧窮國家,建立依據不同國家富人數量減少碳排放的目標體系將使發展中國家更容易進入任何新的氣候改變框架。”

他說:“當印度、中國、巴西和其他國家度過發展階段的時候,他們也將有越來越多的富人,而且在未來他們也將分擔更過的減少碳排放的任務。”

這些義務是根據不同國家正在增長中的富有人群數量建立,每個發展中國家也將執行這些義務,并達到某個總體的碳排放水平。這個水平是公平建立的,所以在最貧窮的國家無論有多少富人生活經濟發展都不會停止。

這是對富人的游艇和豪華汽車稅嗎?那倒不必。Chakravarty說,但是他也沒有否認。“我們無論如何都不會提議這樣。如果某些國家找到一種這樣的方法,那是最好的。”

這個星期在意大利召開的氣候演講是十二月在哥本哈根舉行的國際論壇的一個序曲,目的在于對繼續延續在2010年即將到期的京都議定書達成一致。同時,美國國會也正在制定控制美國碳排放的法律。

譯文:New climate strategy: track the world's wealthiest

To fairly divide the climate change fight between rich and poor, a new study suggests basing targets for emission cuts on the number of wealthy people, who are also the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, in a country.

Since about half the planet's climate-warming emissions come from less than a billion of its people, it makes sense to follow these rich folks when setting national targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, the authors wrote on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As it stands now, under the carbon-capping Kyoto Protocol, rich countries shoulder most of the burden for cutting the emissions that spur global warming, while developing countries -- including fast-growing economies China and India -- are not required to curb greenhouse pollution.

Rich countries, notably the United States, have said this gives developing countries an unfair economic advantage; China, India and other developing countries argue that developed countries have historically spewed more climate-warming gases, and developing countries need time to catch up.

The study suggests setting a uniform international cap on how much carbon dioxide each person could emit in order to limit global emissions; since rich people emit more, they are the ones likely to reach or exceed this cap, whether they live in a rich country or a poor one.

For example, if world leaders agree to keep carbon emissions in 2030 at the same level they are now, no one person's emissions could exceed 11 tons of carbon each year. That means there would be about a billion "high emitters" in 2030 out of a projected world population of 8.1 billion.

EACH PERSON'S EMISSIONS

By counting the emissions of all the individuals likely to exceed this level, world leaders could provide target emissions cuts for each country. Currently, the world average for individual annual carbon emissions is about 5 tons; each European produces 10 tons and each American produces 20 tons.

With international climate talks set to start this week in Italy among the countries that pollute the most, the authors hope policymakers will look at the strong link between how rich people are and how much carbon dioxide they emit.

"You're distributing the task of doing something about emissions reduction based on the proportion of the population in the country that's actually doing the most damage," said Shoibal Chakravarty of the Princeton Environment Institute, one of the study's authors.

Rich people's lives tend to give off more greenhouse gases because they drive more fossil-fueled vehicles, travel frequently by air and live in big houses that take more fuel to heat and cool.

By focusing on rich people everywhere, rather than rich countries and poor ones, the system of setting carbon-cutting targets based on the number of wealthy individuals in various countries would ease developing countries into any new climate change framework, Chakravarty said by telephone.

"As countries develop -- India, China, Brazil and others -- over time, they'll have more and more of these (wealthy) individuals and they'll have a higher share of carbon reductions to do in the future," he said.

These obligations, based on the increasing number of rich people in various countries, would kick in as each developing country hit a certain overall level of carbon emissions. This level would be set fairly high, so that economic development would not be hampered in the poorest countries, no matter how many rich people live there.

Is this a limousine-and-yacht tax on the rich? Not necessarily, Chakravarty said, but he did not rule it out: "We are not by any means proposing that. If some country finds a way of doing that, it's great."

This week's climate talks in Italy are a prelude to an international forum in December in Copenhagen aimed at crafting an agreement to follow the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. At the same time, the U.S. Congress is working on legislation to curb U.S. carbon emissions.

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