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刺激消费的隐忧

近年来,中国政府和国内市场不断要求刺激消费。霍伟亚认为,中国或许能保持当下的经济增长势头,但我们可能需要两个额外的地球来负担这种美国式的生活。

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去年世界金融危机以来,为了保证经济增长百分之八,除了4万亿财政投资、积极信贷政策以外,刺激消费也是中国政府的一项重要措施。

2008年末,中国政府开始在全国开展“家电下乡”工程,通过财政补贴,促进彩电、冰箱、洗衣机、手机四类产品在农村地区的销售。2009年,中国政府又投入20亿元启动家电“以旧换新”政策。根据该政策,2009年6月1日至2010年5月31日,在北京等9个试点省市规定时间内交售旧家电,并购买新家电的单位和个人,在购买新家电时可享受新家电销售价格10%的补贴。除了刺激电子产品的消费,机动车消费也享受到补贴或者税收优惠。很多城市还向市民发放消费券。

外向型经济遭遇出口额大幅下跌,加强了中国政府依靠内需市场拉动经济的决心,“扩内需,保增长”成为中国经济渡过难关的秘诀之一。但是扩内需刺激经济复苏之中,也隐藏着两个问题。如果不做长远考虑,它们会对中国的环境造成相当大的压力。

首先是资源再利用问题。在中国,填埋到垃圾场的并不都是垃圾,很多是可以回收再利用的资源。然而,现在产品被消费之后就完全变为垃圾。只有小贩们会从垃圾 堆中捡一些经济价值相对高一点的东西,其余或者埋掉或者堆肥。由于垃圾量剧增,包括北京在内的中国很多城市正面临“垃圾围成”的窘境,纷纷转向垃圾焚烧发电。不过,此办法面临很多争议,民间的环保组织认为,垃圾的分类回收才是中国当前最应该做的。

但中国并无健全的垃圾分类回收系统。以电子产品为例,国家发改委的相关负责人解读家电“以旧换新”政策时,“以旧换新”政策可更新家电500万台,2009年预计中国报废上述5类家电9000万台。而活跃在中国城镇每个角落的家电回收小贩,表明正规的回收拆解处理企业仍不是主流,倒是这些非正规的回收拆解方式占据着这个行业,其带来的环境后果,“中外对话”中的文章《从办公室开始绿色办公》已有提到。

尽管环保部门就“家电下乡”、家电“以旧换新”两项工程出台了配套的指导意见,但在循环经济发展刚起步的中国,此措施能否有效实施、能否覆盖到广大的农村地区,都是未知数。

国务院2009年2月发布的《废弃电器电子产品回收处理管理条例》是一个让人期待的政策,为电子垃圾的回收拆解行业规划了方向,但它到2011年才生效。2011年之前,电子废弃物的主要解决方法可能依然是靠小贩们收购,然后再卖给没有拆解处理资质的企业,或者根本没有注册的小作坊。

垃圾不能正规处理不仅仅造成污染问题,资源的浪费也相当客观。上述发改委负责人说,汽车、家电“以旧换新”政策可以回收利用各种资源近230万吨。但如果没有一个完善的体系,其中不少资源可能仅仅被当作垃圾处理。

除了资源再利用问题,消费观念膨胀也是一个隐忧。

最近中国知名网站21cn.com制作了一个网络专题:“白领,你的名字叫环保杀手”,策划者认为白领的生活方式是高消费,而“消费是环保的天敌”,应该“让自己和环境都舒服”。专题的在线调查中, 绝大部分的人认为环保是每个人的义务。

但这可能仅仅是一个观念,放到实际生活中则是另一回事了。从7月1日起,湖南长沙市宾馆、酒店、招待所等场所不再免费提供给顾客一次性牙刷、牙膏等日用品,实行明码标价,需要一次性日用品的顾客需付费购买。人民网的调查就显示,77%的网友反对这个政策,认为此举会带来不方便。

上述两个数据的矛盾反映了中国人当下环保与消费两种观念的冲突。从三十多年前的零环保意识,到现在,环境问题很容易就成为公共舆论的焦点,中国人的环保意识确实提高了。但是中国人似乎越来越像自己指责的美国人,积极参与环保但不愿意调整自己的生活方式。

按照循环经济的“3R”思想,中国正在做的事情当中,提高能效以及资源利用效率可以减少生产投入和污染,属于“减量化”(Reduce);回收废旧产品,从中获取有用资源是“再循环”(Recycle),它们都已被付诸于政治、经济实践。但属于循环经济题中之义的“再利用”(Reuse)(产品重复使用,延长生命周期)却受到冷落,消费者似乎把环境问题丢给环保机构来做,就不再负有环保的义务,只要经济能力许可,就可以尽情地消费。

如今中国日益重视国内市场,通过各种手段促进公众的消费,以此提振经济。此举更给消费以合理的名义。政府、市场一同鼓动消费,这是否会让中国的消费能量由此释放?

中国人过去消费不多,要么是因为没有钱,要么是缺乏社会保障,留钱自保,不敢乱花。三十年的改革开放,培养了中国人充足的物质欲望,向富人看齐、向美国看 齐的生活方式观念已经根深蒂固。一旦消费能力的问题得到缓解,中国人也会尽可能多地消费,这一点不会落在发达世界的后面。此时,经济增长得以保全,但问题 可能就像很多环保人士说的那样,如果每个中国人都像美国人那样消费,人类还需要三个地球。


作者:霍伟亚是"中外对话"北京办公室的运营主管,曾任“绿色大学生论坛”《环境文化通讯》主编。


政策鼓励下,消费量剧增,您认为中国如何加强资源的回收再利用?您对垃圾处理问题有何看法?刺激消费带来环保隐忧,不刺激消费,经济增长减速可能带来失业率上升等非常严重的社会动荡,究竟应该怎么办?请在论坛上说出您的想法。


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Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

成熟的机制

作者提的问题很实际,中国还是缺乏一个成熟的环保产业链。就说垃圾分类处理和废品回收,目前只有小商贩在收购废品和废旧电器,其流向和安全性没有保障。特别是一些危险品,比如废旧电池和电器,几乎是处理都不知道该送到哪里去。一个成熟的回收机制是非常必要的,政府全权负责也罢,牵头与民营企业合作也罢,都应尽快拿出一个解决办法来。

Mature mechanism needed

The issue put forward by the author is very practical, China still lacks a mature environmentally sound industrial chain. Take garbage separation and waste recycling as an example. At present, there's no-one but small scrap merchants who purchase discarded appliances and other waste, whose flow direction and safety is not guaranteed. This is a particular problem where hazardous materials such as scrap batteries and electronic appliances are concerned, since they have nowhere to go even if disposed of. Here, a mature recycling mechanism is of the utmost necessity. No matter whether it ends up being the sole responsibility of government or carried out in co-operation with private enterprises, a solution is needed as quickly as possible.

(The comment was translated by Jieping Hu)

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

环境成本与刺激消费政策的驱动力

不错的文章。由于氟氯化碳及其类似产物会破坏臭氧层,并加剧气候变化,英国政府要求回收报废冰箱的过程不允许释放这些物质。好习惯往往却被忽视了。

除了极贫穷者以外,当下其他所有人都应当努力减少碳足迹。在这种情况下,中国鼓励刺激物质消费就显得尤为令人担忧。

对某些战略工业,比如能源密集型的汽车产业,扩张投资将进一步刺激超额生产。正是由于政府和工业的共同鼓动,才会导致这种鼓励富人购买更多东西的国家诫命。
(此篇由刘雅晴翻译)

The environmental costs and drivers of policies which increase consumption

An excellent article.

In the UK, the government requires that refridgerators are scrapped in ways which do not release CFCs and the like (which damage the ozone layer depleting and accelerate climate change). Good practice is being ignored.

Given the urgency with which everyone except the very poor must reduce our carbon footprint, China's efforts to induce yet more material consumption are worrying.

Investing in capacity expansion in strategic industries such as energy intensive cars helps drive excess production. National imperatives which urge everyone who is rich enough to buy more are driven both by government and industry.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

中国的确有回收

尽管我对中国的回收业并不熟悉,但很明显,垃圾分类处理还是有的。我经常看到一些老年人在垃圾中寻找可回收物品,例如易拉罐和塑料瓶。同时,那些载满各种可回收品的卡车和三轮车也很多,我想应该是拉到回收站来换钱的。或许这种回收方式并没有标准化或公司化,但是这确实是在回收。他们在垃圾中找寻可回收品还挺值的,中国巨大贫富差距使得有人愿意投身于垃圾回收。这在西方是一个主要的问题,人们没有任何实在的刺激去分类和回收垃圾,觉得这是浪费时间。
(本评论由胡洁萍翻译)

China Does Recycle

I am not too familiar with China's recycling system, but there is clearly a lot of separation going on. I often see elderly people going through garbage to get recyclable items like cans and plastic bottles. Trucks and bicycle wagons full of various kinds of recyclables, which I would assume they are taking to a center to collect some money, are also common. It might not be standardized or corporatized, but there is definitely a lot of recycling going on. While it is sad that it is worth their time to scrounge around in the garbage, one benefit of China's huge disparities in wealth is that it is worth people's time to recycle. This is a major problem in the West- people don't have any real incentives to separating and recycling and tend to see it as a waste of their time.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

以经济建设为中心的国家

试问在中国,什么能与经济发展相抗衡,是环境问题么,似乎不是。就拿废旧电池回收举例,涉及的技术难点多、回收成本高。没有可观的经济利益在里面,所以不会引起政府的兴趣。

这不是一个以道德来衡量事件轻重的社会。在金融危机的背景下,一个以经济建设为中心的国家首先考虑的是如何确保他的GDP曲线平稳,所以很自然的产生了刺激国内经济消费的政策。依仗经济发展立足的政权,稳固他的根基是最重要的事。在这其中引起的负面问题,比如环境问题。对政府来说,出面解决只能等到他们闲来无事的时候再去作作秀,用以提升中国政府在国际社会和中国老百姓心中的形象时使用。

A country obsessed with economic growth

Let me ask: in China, what is as important as economic development? Environmental issues? Doesn't seem like it. Take the battery-recycling for example. It's fraught with technical difficulties and high costs. Since there's no obvious profit to be gained by it, it doesn't attract the government's interest.

This is not a society which weighs affairs on the basis of moral standards. Against the background of financial crisis, the main concern of a country so focused on building up its economy is to guarantee a steady GDP growth curve. This has quite naturally resulted in policies aimed at stimulating domestic consumption. For a government that has based its legitimacy on economic development, shoring up this basis is always going to be the matter of first concern; environmental problems are one of the negative side-effects of this approach. To the government, solving such problems is just an attempt at a publicity stunt made when officials have nothing better to do, or when there's a need to improve its international or popular image.

-Translated by Echo Lee.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

教育缺失

用生态学术语来说,中国由于“生物多样性”而占有优势。在那里,拾破烂者——他们四处搜寻废弃物,经过分类后放在自行车或电动车上运到回收站。这个做得很好,因为垃圾分类和运输对于回收者来说是一笔不小的成本。

中国不仅需要对废弃物处理设施进行大量的投资,并且也要加大教育力度,让人们意识到粗放式处理垃圾所造成的环境与健康危害。

另一个选择是,出现一拨有着变废为宝热忱的企业家。这要求中国更加开放一些,允许国际投资进入这一新兴产业。

任何是有头脑的人都能理解,13亿人口产生的大量废弃物需要处理,而且在保护环境的同时也能得到经济实惠。

我认为,绿色GDP与公共教育亟须得到改善。

(此篇由刘雅晴翻译)

Education is the missing link

Speaking in ecological terms, China is at an advantage because of biodiversity; there - scavengers - who will take the time to scrounge through and separate waste as well as transport it on their bicycles and electric vehicles to transfer stations. This provides a good foundation, because separating and transporting waste is a big part of costs for recyclers.

China needs a huge centralized investment in waste processing infrastructure, as well as an investment in education to inform people of the environmental and health hazards caused by processing waste using primitive techniques.

An alternative would be a wave of entrepreneurs with a keen mind for turning "waste" into a profitable commodity. This may require that China opens up a little more to allow for more international investment in this emerging industry.

Anyone with a head on their shoulders should be able to figure out that where there are 1.3 billion people there is a lot of waste to be processed, there must be a way to turn a profit here while protecting the environment.

Green GDP and public education I believe are a missing link here.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

政绩和环境

我觉得应该找到政绩和环保的结合点。在中国的政治环境下,不能提供政绩资源的项目是不会得到政府重视的,因为对政府来说它没有任何利用价值。如果能让当地政府相信某个项目不仅环保,还能作为提高政治资本的工具,相信当政者会有所动作的。
另外,不刺激消费,没有8%的GDP增长,政府会心神不宁。刺激消费是不可能不提倡的。
同时舆论疏于健康的消费观念的引导。
当今中国的大环境下,掌握最多资源的非各级政府莫属,所以最有效的办法是能接近政府的有识之士能积极合理巧妙地教育和引导政府官员的思维理念,加上民间自身的微薄能力。
这是没有办法的办法。

Official achievement and environment

I think we need to find the balance between official achievement and environment. Under China’s current political situation, government will not consider it worth protecting the environment unless they believe it is related to political achievement. Government will be interested to take action if they are convinced that the projects are not only "green" but also be able to raise the political capitals.

Besides, 8% GDP growth is difficult to guarantee without consumption stimulus. Consequently, It‘s impossible to ignore it. Meanwhile a healthy consumption attitude need the guide of public opinion.

Today, most Chinese resources are controlled by all levels of government. Therefore, the most effective way is to approach those officials of insight, educate and change the thinking of them. Civic power can also contribute a bit to that.

This is the only thing we can do at the moment.

(translated by Fangfang CHEN)

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

循环经济增长的解决之道

中国已经有其世界领先的“循环经济”远景的方法了,所欠缺的只是一些关于怎么发展循环经济的理解。不要一上来就听从那些西方政策“专家”,他们只会建议你重走线性经济的老路,加快提炼然后再丢弃更多的资源。这种自我毁灭的荒唐行为是很不明智的。在众多的生态灾难面前,你甚至可以嘲笑任何发表这样言论的人。

将循环经济落实到市场而不只是法规,就能实现生态和经济的双重复兴。这在操作上简易可行,也能囊括所有的浪费,而气候混乱也会随之改变,甚至都不需要再在减排的戏剧般的讨价还价中浪费时间。

经济发展能获得新的增长动力,包括那些带有“未来”价值的产品,那些创造未来的工作,以及那些能带来变革的生态经济,都是其中的动力。除了远景,中国也可以在行动上领先全球。

http://www.wiserearth.org/resource/view/6cde9add775de8a2ead56e6234d9ec7a.
James Greyson, 高级分析师, BlindSpot (英国).

(translated by Fangfang CHEN)

A solution for circular economic growth

China has the solution already with its world-leading 'circular economy' vision. All that is missing is a little understanding of how to do circular economics. You start by not taking the advice of western policy 'experts' who advise resuscitating the old obsolete 'linear economy' by extracting and throwing away more resources faster. This self-destructive nonsense was never clever and now that civilisation is at the brink of multiple ecological catastrophies you can just laugh at anyone who talks like that.

You can get a dual ecological and economic revival by doing circular economics in markets and not just in regulations. This is simple to arrange and can include all wastes so climate chaos can be reversed without any more time wasted in theatrical negotiations about capping emissions.

The economy would get a new growth engine, powered by the added value of products 'with a future', work that creates that future and the abundance of ecosystems that get stronger for a change. China can lead the world not just with vision but also action. http://www.wiserearth.org/resource/view/6cde9add775de8a2ead56e6234d9ec7a.
James Greyson, Senior Analyst, BlindSpot (UK).

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

多种因素

对于垃圾,废品的回收问题,如果不是国家大力支持,恐怕在我有生之年都不会见到一个较健全的回收系统.

问题其实是很多因素的.

首先,国家还是以搞经济,提高人民生活水平为主导;同时提到的可持续发展,我并没感到有任何实质性的东西.
其次,地方政府多数只顾政绩,里面没包括环保方面,最多关注的只是经济.
其三,人们普遍没有环保意识,以往的习惯也很难改.有人说到的捡铝罐,电子废品那些的,只是因为这是他们为数不多的赚钱方式.
最后,国家的政策缺乏持续性.其实国家也有推广过分类垃圾,(现在也在时时刻刻谈环保.)你看街道上的垃圾桶,不少城市的是那种分类式垃圾桶.遗憾的是,这只是形式,那些清洁工还是把它们倒在一起...

此外,现在的社会浮躁,急功近利.近来看到一则新闻,说到"环保行业,如风力发电等,有发展过热的情况."

我能说什么呢?

-- -- 六花

Many kinds of factors

As far as waste and question of recycling scraps, if the nation does not vigorously support it, I’m afraid a robust recycling system will not happen in my lifetime. This problem is caused by many kinds of factors. First of all, the country is still working to improve the economy and increase the standard of living of the people; at the same time it is trying to develop its sustainability. I don’t think any substantial work has been done. Second, a majority of the local governments are primarily concerned with political achievements, which do not include environmental protection. Most of their energies go to economic concerns. Third, people often don’t have an environmental awareness, and it is very difficult to change their habits. There are some who talk about people who collect aluminum, electronics goods and similar things, but it is just a few individuals who do it to make some money. Finally, the country lacks policies on sustainability. Actually, the country has popularized classifying trash. (Currently it is talking about environmental protection.) You can see that in many cities the trash cans on the streets are ones that separate kinds of trash. Unfortunately, this is just a facade, because the garbage collectors still mix them together… Besides, modern society is very impulsive, always seeking instant gratification. Recently I saw in the news that the environmental businesses such as wind power have developed too quickly and are overheating the economy. What can I say? Liuhua (six flowers)
(Translated by Michelle Deeter)

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

太多了??

过多的风能如何造成过热的状况?如果产能无法很好的被利用,那么生产过剩将是唯一的问题。全球可循环能源发展的瓶颈是资金问题。在富裕的国家,一些资金(比如从100亿美金做起)可以作为短期或中期的可循环能源项目的财政支撑,而非用来继续购买回报率只有2-3%的美国国债。如此好处有很多:(a)持续的高利润率产品的出口增长,比如PV,风能等;(b)更高的回报(最小的经济回报率是7-8%,PPA方面回报率更高),而且与国债相比风险较低。时下,太阳能板所需要的硅已经降到$2/Wp,当内部收益率超过15%时就不难建设这些项目了。

本评论由李异翻译

Too Much??

How can too much wind power cause overheating? Overproduction is only a problem if the capacity cannot be put to good use. The bottleneck in renewable energy development around the world is financing. Instead of continuing to buy U.S. Treasuries that yield only 2-3%, some of that pot (say $10 Billion to start with) can be used to fund short or medium term renewable projects in rich countries. The benefits are many: (a) continued expansion of the export market for profitable equipment sales in PV, wind, etc.; (b) higher returns (7-8% minimum just on the financing, and much more on the PPA side) that are not that much more risky than Treasuries. Today, with Si based solar panels already reaching down to less than US$2/Wp, it is not difficult to construct projects with IRR exceeding 15%.

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匿名 | Anonymous

官员政绩考核与环保绩效真正挂钩

当前政府官员的绩效考核没有真正做到与环保挂钩,充其量只是表面形式。尤其要关注的一下经济相对薄弱的地区,为了改善人民收入水平,上下齐动,把一些绿色林木砍伐,换成经济作物,可以较快的提高当地人民的收入水平,以及政府的形象,但因此而导致的环保问题:沙土流失、飞尘等,十年也难以恢复。

Achievement assessment of government officials should peg the real effectiveness of protection of environment

The current achievement evaluation of government officials, which is mere skin-deep formality actually, is not really connected with the effectiveness of environment protection. Particular focuses are needed in the places of less prosperity. In order to improve the incomes of people, woods were deforested to be economic crops which could raise incomes of local people and government image immediately, but lead to serious environmental problems - soil erosion, floating dust and so on which were hard to be recovered in decades.