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大麻合法化从地方政策升级为国家法案,碳定价可能紧随其后

Michael Dembrow 2018年11月25日

美国各州必须采取行动,即便会遇到化石燃料行业的反对,而碳定价将成为它们在联邦政府以下应对气候变化的主要手段之一。

美国的各个州就成功政策相互借鉴和学习为国家立法奠定了基础。近几年,大麻合法化以及医保改革的进程都是如此。

碳定价似乎也将走上类似的道路,成为减少大气污染并扩大清洁能源应用的动力,只是目前还处于较初级阶段。碳定价会成为政策领域的下一个大麻吗?

虽然联合国报告警告称人类只剩下12年时间来避免气候灾难,但美国联邦政府仍铁了心要减轻环保力度,并最终退出了《巴黎协定》。但不作为或者打太极绝不是办法。

各州必须采取行动,即便会遇到化石燃料行业的反对,而碳定价将成为它们在联邦政府以下应对气候变化的主要手段之一。

为此,州议员应该研究一下各州的大麻合法化过程。美国的大麻合法化始于2012年,科罗拉多州和华盛顿州率先立法允许将大麻用于消遣。接着,另外八个州和华盛顿特区随之而动,最新的一个是上周二通过公投实现大麻合法化的密歇根州。同时,已有33个州和华盛顿特区将某种形式的大麻(药用或消遣)列为合法物品。2000年以来,公众对大麻合法化的支持度提高了一倍多,目前已有62%的美国人赞成此事。

现在,我们应该把这种“逐州击破”的策略用于阻止气候变化。许多人都在关注华盛顿州今年的中期选举,因为该州正在探讨美国最宏大的气候治理方案。《1631号提案》旨在开征美国首个全国性碳污染费,但以失败告终。为了反对这一提案,英国石油和Phillips 66公司花了3100万美元在华盛顿民众中制造困惑和恐惧。不过,该提案获得的赞成票仍达到了43%以上。

今年的失败不应阻碍整个碳定价进程。我是来自俄勒冈州的参议员,俄勒冈州是碳成本联盟(Carbon Costs Coalition)的发起成员。这个组织由全美国各地的州议员组成,他们决心为碳排放定价。目前已有13个州提出了碳定价议案,正在等待州议会审批。在俄勒冈州,我们今年早些时候几乎就要通过碳排放限制和投资计划了,而且最近实现连任的州长凯特·布朗和州议会首脑都承诺将在明年通过此项提案。

中期选举后的格局让俄勒冈在2019年的碳定价进程中处于领先位置。俄勒冈已将大麻合法化,而且也将确立碳排放的价格。可以预见,如果我们成功了,中期选举后越发注重环保的华盛顿州议会也将采取同样措施。

另外,有些州已经为碳排放设限并建立了碳交易机制。去年,加州在民主、共和两党的共同支持下将此项政策又延长了12年。今年,新泽西州宣布将重新加入另外九个州组成的区域温室气体倡议(Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative)。这些州的碳排放量都在下降,而且此项倡议为当地的数千个清洁能源工作岗位提供了支持。

加拿大已经出台全国性碳排放税,作为邻居,美国也应如此。和美国一样,加拿大在这方面的工作也始于地方层面——不列颠哥伦比亚省和魁北克省牵头进行碳定价,直到联邦政府最终实施此项政策。

观察一下大麻合法化的推进、平价医疗法案的成功以及其他草根州的努力,强大石油企业的资金和信息误导活动对公众意愿的阻挠看来也就到此为止了。(财富中文网)

迈克尔·德姆布鲁是来自俄勒冈州的参议员。他也是碳成本联盟成员,后者是美国环保议员全国会议的一部分。

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

When states watch and learn from each others’ policy victories, it sets the stage for national legislative action. This has played out over the past years with marijuana legalization and health care reform.

A similar process seems to be occurring with carbon pricing, which reduces climate pollution and provides incentives to expand clean energy—though it’s in an earlier stage. Could carbon pricing be the next marijuana of the policy world?

Despite a UN report warning the world that there are only 12 years left to take action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the federal government remains intent on rolling back environmental protections and eventually withdrawing from the Paris agreement. But giving in to inaction or delay is simply not an option.

States are going to have to step up to the plate, even in the face of opposition from the fossil fuel industry, and carbon pricing will be one of their primary methods of fighting climate change at the sub-federal level.

To do so, state legislators should study the progression of the state-level marijuana legalization movement, which began in 2012 with Colorado and Washington state legalizing recreational use. Since then, eight more states and Washington, D.C., have followed suit, the latest being Michigan in last Tuesday’s election. In addition, 33 states plus Washington, D.C., have legalized a form of marijuana (either medical or recreational). Public support for legalizing marijuana has more than doubled since 2000, with 62% of Americans now in favor of it.

Now it’s time to apply this state-by-state strategy to preventing climate change. Many eyes were on Washington state this election season, where one of the country’s most ambitious climate efforts was on the ballot. Initiative 1631 would have enacted the first statewide carbon pollution fee in the U.S., but was defeated. Big oil companies like BP and Phillips 66 spent $31 million in Washington to sow confusion and fear over the initiative—and yet, it still earned over 43% of the vote.

But this year’s loss isn’t stopping overall progress on carbon pricing. I am a state senator from Oregon, and one of the original members of the Carbon Costs Coalition, a group of state legislators from across the country dedicated to putting a price on carbon. Thirteen states currently have carbon pricing bills pending in their state legislatures. In Oregon, we came close to passing a cap and invest program earlier this year, and newly re-elected Governor Kate Brown and legislative leadership have expressed a commitment to pass the legislation next year.

This post-election landscape positions Oregon to lead on carbon pricing in 2019. Oregon has already legalized marijuana, and we will put a price on carbon. Once we do so, we can expect Washington’s legislature, which has become increasingly pro-environment since the election, to follow.

Additionally, some states already have cap and trade systems in place. Last year, California renewed its program with bipartisan support for another 12 years, and this year, New Jersey announced that it will rejoin nine other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. All of these states have falling emissions, and the initiative supports thousands of clean energy jobs in the region.

With Canada having announced a national carbon tax, the U.S. has a neighbor it can follow. As in America, Canada’s efforts began at the local level, with British Columbia and Quebec leading the way on carbon pricing until these policy was eventually adopted by the federal government.

Looking at the movement toward the legalization of marijuana, the success of the Affordable Care Act, and other grassroots state efforts, it seems that the powerful oil industry’s funding and misinformation campaigns can only hold back the public will for so long.

Michael Dembrow is a state senator in the Oregon legislature. He is a member of the Carbon Costs Coalition, which is part of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

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