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国际能源署署长:我们正迎来向清洁能源转型的历史性机遇

国际能源署署长:我们正迎来向清洁能源转型的历史性机遇

Katherine Dunn 2020年08月02日
法蒂·比罗尔在接受《财富》杂志专访时表示,平生罕见的经济刺激计划,为全球经济大规模地向清洁能源转型提供了良机。

国际能源署署长法蒂·比罗尔。图片来源:Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

早在疫情爆发之初,国际能源署署长法蒂·比罗尔就向各国政府发出了明确的信息——不要浪费这个机会。

随着世界各地相继“封城”、“封国”,并且陷入严重的金融危机,比罗尔的乐观似乎有些不合时宜。不过自从疫情爆发以来,比罗尔一直在和有关国家的部长和专家们进行沟通。他表示,各国为了推动经济复苏,都推出了平生罕见的经济刺激计划,这为全球经济大规模地向清洁能源转型提供了良机。普通老百姓的生活虽然也受到了疫情的影响,但很多人也是第一次见到他们居住的城市没有了污染。因此,他们也做好了迎接清洁能源的准备。

比罗尔本周接受了《财富》的专访,谈到了这种转型将会如何发生,以及为什么在气候变化领域行动迟缓的国家也会加入。他还谈到了各国未上市的能源企业的排放比问题,以及为什么如果各国政府不能降低煤炭的排放量,这一切努力都将宣告无效。

为简明起见,以下采访稿有删节。

今年三月,你曾经接受过我的同事的采访,当时全球疫情刚刚爆发。我想知道,过去几个月,随着全球疫情愈演愈烈,国际能源署的情况是怎样的?

今年三月份以来,国际能源署主要做了四件事。第一,我们认为,清洁能源应该成为经济复苏的核心议题,因为很多国家都在准备出台规模毕生罕见的经济刺激计划,涉及金额将达数万亿美元。这为清洁能源的发展提供了历史性的机遇,鼓励清洁能源发展应该成为经济复苏的一部分。这也是我们发出的第一个倡议——我们很早就做出这个倡议。

其次,你要看看疫情对能源的影响。我们预计今年的能源需求将大幅下降。我们可以纵向比对一下,与2008年的金融危机相比,这次能源需求的下降幅度是金融危机期间的7倍,降幅是很大的。石油受到的影响最大,煤炭、天然气也受到了巨大影响。但可再生能源仍在增长,只是比疫情前的增幅小了很多。

我们预计,今年全球的能源投资将减少20%左右,也就是4000亿美元左右,这将对能源安全和清洁能源转型产生一定的影响。排放是国际能源署最关注的问题,今年的排放水平正在大幅下降,甚至足以抵消过去10年全球排放的增量。当然,我们应当确保排放量不会随着全球经济的复苏而大幅反弹。

第三,我们做了一项退出战略。我们与国际货币基金组织合作,制订了一个所谓“可持续复苏计划”。我们研究了所有的能源政策,并且重点关注那些能实现以下三个目标的政策——推动经济发展,创造就业,避免排放反弹。而且我们提出三项重要的政策性建议:一是加快提高能源效率,尤其是在建筑行业;二是强力推动太阳能和风能建设;三是推进电网的现代化、数字化。

我们与国际货币基金组织的一项研究发现,如果这三项政策得以在全球范围内推行,全球经济将增长一个百分点,另外全球将新增900万个就业岗位,同时还能避免排放反弹,使排放量进入结构性下降。

第四件事是我们最近刚刚做的。国际能源署最近邀请了世界各国部长,讨论如何共同加快清洁能源转型。令我感到惊喜的是,全球有40多位部长参加了讨论,包括美国、加拿大、墨西哥、巴西、哥伦比亚、智利,以及所有欧洲国家和中国、印度、印度尼西亚、日本、南非等国的部长。大家都参与了进来。这40位部长代表了全球经济的80%,大家探讨了如何共同加快清洁能源转型。

在引领此次能源转型上,有没有哪些国家或地区在经济刺激或重建计划方面表现得较为突出?

有。就在本周二,欧洲提出了一个非常强有力的刺激计划,不仅在规模庞大,而且重点强调了清洁能源技术。加拿大也在这方面采取了一些措施。日本还决定逐步淘汰燃煤电厂,日本的部长在我们的清洁能源转型峰会上宣布了这一消息。

我还专门问了中国的能源部长:“部长先生,中国的五年计划中的清洁能源计划是什么?”——因为中国的五年计划对每个人都至关重要。他表示,清洁能源计划将是它的核心。当然,对所有这些国家,我们都会保持密切关注。但令我印象深刻的是,世界各国的政府,甚至是那些并不把气候变化当作优先要务的政府,都参加了这次视频会议,来讨论清洁能源转型和推动可持续经济复苏的议题。

你觉得为什么会出现这种情况?我的意思是,我们现在正处在重重危机之中。为什么在这种情况下,一个以前并不把气候变化当成重要问题的国家,现在也加入了这个议题的讨论?

实际上有两个原因。第一个原因非常实际,即便一个政府不把气候变化当成优先要务,只要他们需要制定政策来促进经济增长和创造就业,他们就仍然需要关注我刚刚提到的三个政策。抛开气候和环境问题不谈,也要创造就业。而打造能源效率本身就能促进大量就业。比如可再生能源、太阳能等等,它们对就业来说都有重要意义。

第二,国际能源署已经在世界各地营造了这种势头。我认为,这次会议缺少了任何国家,都会影响到这个国家的社会和环境的公信力。所以我可以向你保证,所有国家都发表了强有力的声明,表明它们有强烈愿意在未来三年内推动清洁能源发展。

有没有哪些国家在这方面是明显滞后的?

我认为所有国家都尽了最大的努力。当然,看到一些数据时,有些人还是提出了质疑。比如从今年前六个月的数据中,我发现亚洲的火电厂审批速度比2019年同期快了两倍,其中以中国为首,但也有一些其他国家在列。

在这次部长级会议上,我重点提到了煤炭问题。因为即便从现在开始,未来20年我们的一切商品都是以可持续性的方式生产的,只要全球现有的火电厂继续按照正常的经济寿命运行,那么全球也不可能达到它的气候目标。所以要想认真地实现全球的气候目标,像碳捕捉和碳储存等技术还是极为重要的。

在关于经济刺激计划的讨论中,除了关于投资新领域,有没有人谈到主动停止使用煤炭?

是的。比如我问了日本这个问题,因为日本是亚洲的主要煤炭技术供应国之一。日本能源大臣表示,他们正在改变煤炭方面的能源政策,并将逐步淘汰现有的低效燃煤电厂。

煤炭为什么这么重要?摆在我们面前的有两项工作。第一,未来几年,不管我们建造什么,它都应该是具有可持续性的。其次,我们必须“治理”现有的基础设施,不管是火电厂、钢铁、石化还是水泥产业。就算我们未来二三十年里生产的一切都是可持续的,也不足以实现我们的气候目标。我们已经锁定了一些需要“治理”的资产,它们要么应该提前退役,要么应该使用碳捕捉、碳储存和氢能源等技术。

我记得今年二月份你曾说过,在大型石油天然气公司中,只有1%的投资投向了清洁能源和清洁技术。自此以后,很多大型能源公司都表示,他们将致力于实现净零排放目标。在你看来,他们的所言和所行之间的差距是否正在缩小?

是的。不过正如我说过的那样,没有一家石油天然气公司会不受清洁能源转型的影响。因此,我们发现一些欧美国家的石油天然气公司正在朝着三个方向发展——电能、氢能,以及碳捕促和储存。现在他们是认真的,明年一月我们将再次关注这个问题,看看那时有关投资在他们的投资组合中占到了多大的比例。

跨国石油和天然气企业受到了很多舆论的关注和监督,这是很好的一件事情。投资者、客户和热心人士的关注和监督是必要的。不过我们研究了2000多家上市公司,他们的排放量还不到全球排放量的25%。剩下的75%来自各国没有上市的企业,而他们正在逃避公共投资者以及其他方面的关注和监督。

所以我们不仅应该关注上市公司,还应该关注问题的主要症结所在。这两者我们都应该予以关注。(财富中文网)

译者:Min

早在疫情爆发之初,国际能源署署长法蒂·比罗尔就向各国政府发出了明确的信息——不要浪费这个机会。

随着世界各地相继“封城”、“封国”,并且陷入严重的金融危机,比罗尔的乐观似乎有些不合时宜。不过自从疫情爆发以来,比罗尔一直在和有关国家的部长和专家们进行沟通。他表示,各国为了推动经济复苏,都推出了平生罕见的经济刺激计划,这为全球经济大规模地向清洁能源转型提供了良机。普通老百姓的生活虽然也受到了疫情的影响,但很多人也是第一次见到他们居住的城市没有了污染。因此,他们也做好了迎接清洁能源的准备。

比罗尔本周接受了《财富》的专访,谈到了这种转型将会如何发生,以及为什么在气候变化领域行动迟缓的国家也会加入。他还谈到了各国未上市的能源企业的排放比问题,以及为什么如果各国政府不能降低煤炭的排放量,这一切努力都将宣告无效。

为简明起见,以下采访稿有删节。

今年三月,你曾经接受过我的同事的采访,当时全球疫情刚刚爆发。我想知道,过去几个月,随着全球疫情愈演愈烈,国际能源署的情况是怎样的?

今年三月份以来,国际能源署主要做了四件事。第一,我们认为,清洁能源应该成为经济复苏的核心议题,因为很多国家都在准备出台规模毕生罕见的经济刺激计划,涉及金额将达数万亿美元。这为清洁能源的发展提供了历史性的机遇,鼓励清洁能源发展应该成为经济复苏的一部分。这也是我们发出的第一个倡议——我们很早就做出这个倡议。

其次,你要看看疫情对能源的影响。我们预计今年的能源需求将大幅下降。我们可以纵向比对一下,与2008年的金融危机相比,这次能源需求的下降幅度是金融危机期间的7倍,降幅是很大的。石油受到的影响最大,煤炭、天然气也受到了巨大影响。但可再生能源仍在增长,只是比疫情前的增幅小了很多。

我们预计,今年全球的能源投资将减少20%左右,也就是4000亿美元左右,这将对能源安全和清洁能源转型产生一定的影响。排放是国际能源署最关注的问题,今年的排放水平正在大幅下降,甚至足以抵消过去10年全球排放的增量。当然,我们应当确保排放量不会随着全球经济的复苏而大幅反弹。

第三,我们做了一项退出战略。我们与国际货币基金组织合作,制订了一个所谓“可持续复苏计划”。我们研究了所有的能源政策,并且重点关注那些能实现以下三个目标的政策——推动经济发展,创造就业,避免排放反弹。而且我们提出三项重要的政策性建议:一是加快提高能源效率,尤其是在建筑行业;二是强力推动太阳能和风能建设;三是推进电网的现代化、数字化。

我们与国际货币基金组织的一项研究发现,如果这三项政策得以在全球范围内推行,全球经济将增长一个百分点,另外全球将新增900万个就业岗位,同时还能避免排放反弹,使排放量进入结构性下降。

第四件事是我们最近刚刚做的。国际能源署最近邀请了世界各国部长,讨论如何共同加快清洁能源转型。令我感到惊喜的是,全球有40多位部长参加了讨论,包括美国、加拿大、墨西哥、巴西、哥伦比亚、智利,以及所有欧洲国家和中国、印度、印度尼西亚、日本、南非等国的部长。大家都参与了进来。这40位部长代表了全球经济的80%,大家探讨了如何共同加快清洁能源转型。

在引领此次能源转型上,有没有哪些国家或地区在经济刺激或重建计划方面表现得较为突出?

有。就在本周二,欧洲提出了一个非常强有力的刺激计划,不仅在规模庞大,而且重点强调了清洁能源技术。加拿大也在这方面采取了一些措施。日本还决定逐步淘汰燃煤电厂,日本的部长在我们的清洁能源转型峰会上宣布了这一消息。

我还专门问了中国的能源部长:“部长先生,中国的五年计划中的清洁能源计划是什么?”——因为中国的五年计划对每个人都至关重要。他表示,清洁能源计划将是它的核心。当然,对所有这些国家,我们都会保持密切关注。但令我印象深刻的是,世界各国的政府,甚至是那些并不把气候变化当作优先要务的政府,都参加了这次视频会议,来讨论清洁能源转型和推动可持续经济复苏的议题。

你觉得为什么会出现这种情况?我的意思是,我们现在正处在重重危机之中。为什么在这种情况下,一个以前并不把气候变化当成重要问题的国家,现在也加入了这个议题的讨论?

实际上有两个原因。第一个原因非常实际,即便一个政府不把气候变化当成优先要务,只要他们需要制定政策来促进经济增长和创造就业,他们就仍然需要关注我刚刚提到的三个政策。抛开气候和环境问题不谈,也要创造就业。而打造能源效率本身就能促进大量就业。比如可再生能源、太阳能等等,它们对就业来说都有重要意义。

第二,国际能源署已经在世界各地营造了这种势头。我认为,这次会议缺少了任何国家,都会影响到这个国家的社会和环境的公信力。所以我可以向你保证,所有国家都发表了强有力的声明,表明它们有强烈愿意在未来三年内推动清洁能源发展。

有没有哪些国家在这方面是明显滞后的?

我认为所有国家都尽了最大的努力。当然,看到一些数据时,有些人还是提出了质疑。比如从今年前六个月的数据中,我发现亚洲的火电厂审批速度比2019年同期快了两倍,其中以中国为首,但也有一些其他国家在列。

在这次部长级会议上,我重点提到了煤炭问题。因为即便从现在开始,未来20年我们的一切商品都是以可持续性的方式生产的,只要全球现有的火电厂继续按照正常的经济寿命运行,那么全球也不可能达到它的气候目标。所以要想认真地实现全球的气候目标,像碳捕捉和碳储存等技术还是极为重要的。

在关于经济刺激计划的讨论中,除了关于投资新领域,有没有人谈到主动停止使用煤炭?

是的。比如我问了日本这个问题,因为日本是亚洲的主要煤炭技术供应国之一。日本能源大臣表示,他们正在改变煤炭方面的能源政策,并将逐步淘汰现有的低效燃煤电厂。

煤炭为什么这么重要?摆在我们面前的有两项工作。第一,未来几年,不管我们建造什么,它都应该是具有可持续性的。其次,我们必须“治理”现有的基础设施,不管是火电厂、钢铁、石化还是水泥产业。就算我们未来二三十年里生产的一切都是可持续的,也不足以实现我们的气候目标。我们已经锁定了一些需要“治理”的资产,它们要么应该提前退役,要么应该使用碳捕捉、碳储存和氢能源等技术。

我记得今年二月份你曾说过,在大型石油天然气公司中,只有1%的投资投向了清洁能源和清洁技术。自此以后,很多大型能源公司都表示,他们将致力于实现净零排放目标。在你看来,他们的所言和所行之间的差距是否正在缩小?

是的。不过正如我说过的那样,没有一家石油天然气公司会不受清洁能源转型的影响。因此,我们发现一些欧美国家的石油天然气公司正在朝着三个方向发展——电能、氢能,以及碳捕促和储存。现在他们是认真的,明年一月我们将再次关注这个问题,看看那时有关投资在他们的投资组合中占到了多大的比例。

跨国石油和天然气企业受到了很多舆论的关注和监督,这是很好的一件事情。投资者、客户和热心人士的关注和监督是必要的。不过我们研究了2000多家上市公司,他们的排放量还不到全球排放量的25%。剩下的75%来自各国没有上市的企业,而他们正在逃避公共投资者以及其他方面的关注和监督。

所以我们不仅应该关注上市公司,还应该关注问题的主要症结所在。这两者我们都应该予以关注。(财富中文网)

译者:Min

Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, has had a clear message to governments since the earliest days of the pandemic: Do not waste this chance.

As the world lurches into a series of global lockdowns—and plunges into a desperate financial crisis—a message of optimism might seem misplaced. But Birol, speaking to ministers and analysts nearly constantly throughout the crisis, has advised that once-in-a-lifetime stimulus plans offer the chance to set economies on a path toward a wide-scale clean-energy transition. Regular people, who have seen their daily lives overturned and, in many cases, have experienced for the first time what largely pollution-free cities can feel like, may be newly ready too.

Birol spoke to Fortune this week about what that transition could look like; why even climate laggards are coming to the table; the percentage of emissions from privately held national energy companies—and why every effort will be ineffective if governments fail to eliminate the emissions from coal.

This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

I know you talked to my colleague Vivienne Walt in March when this whole situation was just kicking off, and I wondered, how have the past few months been for the IEA as this crisis has deepened?

What we have done is four things as the IEA, since March. Clean energy should be at the heart of the economic recovery, because many governments are preparing once-in-a-generation-in-scale stimulus plans, and these are trillions of dollars. It is a historic opportunity that clean-energy incentives should be part of economic recovery. This was the first call we made—an early call.

Second, you look at the impact of COVID on energy. We expect energy demand this year to decline sharply. Just to put it in context: Compared to the 2008 financial crisis, [it is] seven times deeper than the decline during the financial crisis—a huge decline. Oil gets the biggest hit. Gas, coal, all of them. Renewables still grow, but much smaller than what they would be otherwise.

And energy investments around the world this year—we expect [those] to decline about 20%, about $400 billion, with implications for energy security and clean-energy transitions. Emissions, a key preoccupation for the IEA, are declining sharply, and this year's decline will compensate [for] or delete the increase in global emissions in the last 10 years. But of course we should make sure that emissions do not rebound sharply as the global economy recovers.

And third, what we have done is an exit strategy. We worked with the IMF and made a so-called sustainable recovery plan. We look at all the energy policies and focus on those that would fulfill three objectives: boost economic growth, create jobs, and avoid the rebound of emissions. And we came up with three important, in my view, policy suggestions: accelerations of energy efficiency improvements, especially in the building sector; second, pushing strongly [for] solar and wind installations; and third, modernization and digitalization of the electricity grids.

Our study with the IMF has [found that] if those three policies were to be pushed globally, we would see a global economic boost of one percentage point. Nine million additional jobs are created, and we avoid a rebound of emissions and put the emissions into a structural decline.

And the fourth and the last one, which was very recent: The IEA invited ministers around the world to discuss how we can all together accelerate clean-energy transitions. And I was happily surprised that 40 ministers, around the world—U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, all European countries, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa—all of them, came together. Forty ministers, which [account for] more than 80% of the global economy, discussed how we can all together accelerate clean-energy transitions.

Are there any countries or regions that stand out for leading this energy transition, in terms of the stimulus packages and the rebuilding packages?

Yes. Just [Tuesday] Europe came up with a very strong stimulus package, both in terms of the size of the package and also a great emphasis on clean-energy technologies. Canada also made some sort of steps in that direction. Japan decided to phase out coal-fired power plants; the Japanese minister announced it during our clean-energy transition summit.

When I asked the Chinese energy minister, Mr. Minister, what are the plans for clean energy for the five-year plan?—because the Chinese five-year plan is critical for everybody—he said that clean energy would be at the heart of it. Of course, all of them, we will track very closely. But I was very impressed that governments around the world, even those who do not put climate change as the top priority, came around the virtual table on the topic of accelerating clean-energy transitions and pushing for a sustainable economic recovery.

Why do you think that is? I mean, we're in a crisis-in-a-crisis-in-a-crisis right now. Why would a country that hasn't put climate change at the center before be coming to the table [now], amid everything that's going on?

There are actually two reasons for that. One of them is very practical. Even a government that doesn't take climate change as a top priority, if they need policies to boost economic growth and create jobs, they still need to focus on these three policies I mentioned. Just forget the climate, forget the environment—just to create jobs. Energy efficiency building is a job-creating machine; renewables, solar, again—very important in terms of employment.

Second, the [IEA] is creating that momentum around the world. I think the absence of any country at that meeting, it would be very visible for the country's social and environmental credentials. So I can assure you that all the countries made strong statements in terms of how much they are willing to push clean-energy options in the next three years.

Are there any clear laggards in terms of countries?

I think they are all doing their best. Of course, when I look at the numbers, there are eyebrows that are raised by some. For example, when we look at our data for the first six months of this year, I see that approvals for coal-fired power plants in Asia are two times faster than the first six months of 2019. Led by China, but also some other countries there.

And a topic that I covered significantly in the ministerial meeting was the issue of coal. Because even if we build everything as of now for the next two decades sustainable, if existing coal plants around the world continue to operate in line with their normal economic lifetime, the world has no chance whatsoever to reach its climate goals. So therefore, the technology such as carbon capture and storage is extremely critical if we are serious about reaching our climate goals around the world.

Did any of this stimulus talk include not just investing in some areas, but actively discontinuing coal?

Yes. I asked the question to, for example, Japan, because Japan is one of the coal technology providers in Asia and at home. [The] Japanese minister said that they are changing their energy policy in terms of coal, and they are gradually going to phase out existing inefficient coal-fired power plants.

Why coal is so important: We have two jobs in front of us. One, whatever we build now, in the years to come, should be sustainable. Second, we have to “cure” the existing infrastructure: coal-fired power plants, iron, steel, petrochemicals, cement. Even if everything we are going to build in the next 20, 30 years is sustainable, it is not enough to reach our climate goals. We have locked-in assets which needs to be “cured,” which is either early retirement, or technology that is carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and others.

I remember in February, you said that of the big oil and gas companies, only 1% of investment was going into clean energy and clean technology. Obviously since then a lot of big energy companies have said they'll commit to the net zero goals. Do you see the gap narrowing between what the big energy companies say they'll do, what they prioritize, and what they're actually doing?

Yes. But as I said, no oil and gas company will be unaffected by the clean-energy transitions. So what we are seeing in the meantime is that some of the companies, European, but also some American companies, are going in three directions—such as electricity, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage. They are now serious, and we are going to look at this again, this January. What is the share of this in their investment portfolios?

There is a lot of attention, and scrutiny, on the international oil and gas companies, which is very good. And it should be there through investors, customers, activism. But we look at more than 2,000 publicly listed companies. They are responsible for less than 25% of global emissions. Seventy-five percent comes from the national companies that are not publicly listed companies. And they are escaping the attention and the scrutiny of the public investors, and others.

We should not only look [at the publicly listed companies], but we should also look where the majority of the problem lies. We should look at both.

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