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译:Shaping China’s green laws

来源: 时间:2011-7-29 10:23:00 点击:

American, European and Japanese environmental experts will find familiar elements in China’s environmental laws. China has borrowed heavily from a number of international sources and experts in drafting its laws, but the end product is, in almost every case, uniquely Chinese.
The foundational environmental law in China is, logically enough, the Environmental Protection Law. It was first enacted on a trial basis in 1979 and amended and reenacted, without the “trial” designation, in 1989. This law contains the seeds of most of the environmental laws introduced since 1979. Indeed, the law contains little more than seeds, consisting of only 47 provisions averaging two to three sentences in length.
Following closely on the heels of the Environmental Protection Law were a set of laws that established an environmental regulatory structure for China that is media-specific, end-of-pipe (it controls the discharge of pollutants rather than their creation) – and command-and-control, meaning it relies on administrative enforcement of environmental-performance standards. Water, air, solid and hazardous wastes and noise pollution were each addressed by separate laws (two in the case of water). In their first incarnation, these laws called for the establishment of ambient air, water and noise standards and concentration-based discharge limits for air and water pollution, and decibel limits for noise pollution.
Pollutant discharges by an operating facility above applicable limits could subject the facility owner to administrative sanctions, but generally resulted (where such actions were addressed at all) in orders to reduce the level of discharges within a given period of time. Regulation of solid and hazardous waste imposed fewer obligations, primarily because of the lack of effective options for the off-site disposal of such wastes during the early phase of environmental lawmaking.
Obligations set out in the Environmental Protection Law and echoed in the media-specific laws were further refined by specific rules, and became de facto cross-media, stand-alone regulatory programmes. For instance, a set of regulations providing for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) eventually spawned a new law, and EIAs have since become the main point of entry into China’s environmental-law regime for most entities.
End-of-pipe regulatory models are relatively effective at reducing pollutant loads if the number of “pipes” is constant or growing at a slow pace, but given China’s rapid development, it became apparent that even if existing entities were in compliance with the original concentration-based discharge limitations (clearly an inapplicable assumption in China), the number of new polluting facilities being built would result in ever-increasing pollutant loads. As a result, China began to introduce “total load” limits into its regulatory model to cap the total discharge of certain “major” pollutants.
It also began to draw on international experience with regulatory models that promote sustainability. The Clean Production Law and Circular Economy Law were products of this focus on stopping the creation – not just the discharge – of pollutants. Broadly speaking, these laws impose obligations to make products in a cleaner, more efficient way, by using less hazardous raw materials, energy and water, and producing fewer toxic wastes.
Some of China’s more recent regulatory schemes (none of which has taken the form of a national law) have sprung up in reaction to regulations enacted elsewhere, particularly in the European Union. And so there is a China REACH to regulate new chemical substances, a China RoHS to restrict hazardous substances in IT equipment and a China WEEE to address the recycling and disposal of electrical and electronic waste. However, these names, while convenient short hands, suggest closer parallels between the European and Chinese regulatory approaches than in fact exists.
Pilot projects have been initiated to test market-based variations on the traditional command-and-control models. Experimental sulphur-dioxide trading programmes have been set up in some places, primarily involving power plants that are required to install emissions-monitoring devices sophisticated enough to support the creation of a trading scheme. Environmental exchanges have been established in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and elsewhere in anticipation of the day when large regional or national markets are created by a cap-and-trade system on conventional pollutants or carbon emissions.
While China’s environmental law regime comprises a set of national laws and regulations similar to many western models, it is important to understand that the Chinese tend to define the fundamental aspects of their environmental legislation in terms of a set of systems or principles, not individual national laws.
As Dr Yin Fucai of the Anhui province Environmental Protection Bureau has put it: "[i]n China, every environmental man knows eight environmental regulations and policies.” Or seven or ten depending on which “environmental man” you are talking to, but the perspective revealed by this statement is the same. Most observers seem to ascribe to the notion that there are “three principles” (such as “polluter pays”) and at least seven generally accepted “management rules” (for instance the “Three Simultaneous” system – which requires that a facility and its mandated pollution control measures are designed, constructed, and placed into operation at the same) at the core of China’s environmental regulatory scheme.
These principles and regimes were formulated primarily during the three national environmental-protection conferences in 1973, 1983 and 1989 and set forth in the statements summarising the conference discussions. All of them were incorporated into the 1989 version of the Environmental Protection Law, and other laws and regulations adopted subsequently.
Viewed as a piece of legislative craftsmanship, China’s environmental-law system covers most of the necessary topics. As applied, however, it hangs on China like an ill-fitting suit: too tight here, too roomy there; succeeding only in making everyone uncomfortable and requiring a set of temporary fixes. Some of the problems can be resolved easily. Others will demand changes to the structure of governance in China, involving fundamental shifts in the distribution of power and requiring significant political will to implement.

                                                                     (译文如有出入请联系本会,来源于chinadialogue)

译   文:

塑造中国的绿色法律

  无论美国、欧洲还是日本的环境专家,都能在中国的环境法律中找到他们熟悉的要素。中国在起草这些法律时广泛借鉴了各种国际资源和专家的知识,但最终的结果却都极富中国特色。
  从逻辑上,中国最基本的环境法律应该是肇始于1979年的《中国环境保护法》,并且在1989年进行了再次修订。这项法律自从1979年被引进以来,包含了几乎所有环境法律的种子。实际上,尽管只有47个条款,平均每条只有两三句话,但它的内容已经超越了“种子”的范畴。
  中国环保法颁布后,接踵而至的一系列法律建立起中国环境治理的架构,这个架构的特点是门类细分、管末处理(控制对象是污染物而非排放者)以及指令型,这就意味着法律的落实依靠的是对环境标准的行政执行。水、空气、固体和危险废物以及噪音污染都有各自不同的法律分别应对,关于水污染甚至还出现了两项法律。在最初颁布的时候,这些法律都呼吁为大气、水和噪音制定标准,并且制定空气和水污染的集中排放限制和噪音污染的分贝限制。
  如果某个设施的污染物排放超出了适用限制,设施所有者就会面临相应的行政制裁,但这种制裁从总体上来说只能在特定的时间段内降低排放水平。固体和危险废物的规章制度规定的责任还要更少,这主要是因为在环境立法的初始阶段就没有为这些废物的场外处理提供足够的选择。
  《环境保护法》以及与其呼应的具体门类法律所规定的责任会在具体规则下进一步细化,从而成为实际上的跨门类、独立的法规。比如,为环境影响评估 (EIAs)制定的一套法规最终扩展成为一项新法,从此对于许多实体来说,环评成为进入中国环境法律体制的一个关键入口。
  如果“管道”的数量恒定或者增长速度很慢的话,管末处理的确不失为一种降低污染物排放量相对有效的方法。但是,由于中国的快速发展,即使现有的实体能够遵守最初的集中排放限制(但这在中国显然是不适用的),在建的新污染设施的巨大数量也会导致污染物排放量的不断增长。这是显而易见的。因此,中国开始在其治理模式中引入“排放总量”限制,以便对特定的“主要”污染物的总排放量设置上限。
  中国还开始广泛吸收国际经验,学习提升可持续性的治理模式。《清洁生产法》和《循环经济法》都是这一努力的产物,即把立法的着眼点集中在污染物的产生,而非仅仅是排放上来。从宏观一点的角度来说,这些法律规定了生产者的责任,即要采取更清洁、更高效的生产方式,降低原料、能源和水的危险性,减少有毒废物的产生。
  中国一些更近制定的法规(都还没有形成国家法律)更集中地体现出对其它国家和地区法律的反应,特别是对欧盟。比如关于新化学物质的《中国新化学物质环境管理办法(China REACH)》,对IT设备中的危险物质进行限制的《中国电子信息产品污染控制管理办法(China RoHS)》以及解决电气和电子废物回收和处理问题的《中国废弃电器电子产品回收处理管理条例(China WEEE)》等。但是,尽管这些法规的英文简称显得与欧盟的同类规定关系极为密切,实际上却并非如此。
  中国已经设立了若干试点项目,在传统的指令模式之上进行了多种以市场为基础的改革试验。一些地方设置了试验性的二氧化硫交易项目,主要参与者是电厂,它们都被要求安装排放监测设备,其精密度完全足够支持交易机制的运转。北京、上海、天津和其他一些城市都建立了气候(排放)交易所,期望能在大型地区或者全国性交易市场(在一个常规污染物或碳排放上限与交易机制下)形成之日派上用场。
  尽管中国的环境法律机制也是由一整套与许多西方模式类似的国家法律和法规构成的,但有一点必须弄清楚:中国倾向于从一整套系统或者原则的角度来界定其环境立法的主要方面,而非从单个国家法律的角度。
  正如安徽省环保厅于福才(音)博士所说,“在中国,每个环境人都知道八大环境法规和政策”。如果你问其他“环境人”,类似的说法可能还有“七大”或者“十大”,但实质内容都是一样的。大多数观察家似乎都认为这些内容主要包括“三项原则”(比如污染者付费原则)以及至少七项广泛接受的“管理规则”(比如“三同时”制度,即防治污染和其它公害的设施和其它环境保护设施,必须与主体工程同时设计、同时施工、同时投产),它们都处于中国环境管理体制的核心地位。
  上述原则和制度在1973年、1983年和1989年的三次全国环保会议上逐渐明确,并在会议纪要中进行了阐述。这些原则和制度在1989年版的《环保法》以及其后的其他法律和法规中都到了贯彻和体现。
  从立法手段本身来看,中国的环境法律体系几乎面面俱到,但是在应用方面却像件不合身的衣服:不是这里太紧,就是那里太松;只能让大家都觉得不舒服,必须采取一套暂时性的适应措施。一些问题很容易解决,另外一些则需要中国的政府结构进行相应的调整,包括权力分配的根本性变化,同时这些法律法规的落实也需要有巨大的政治意愿。

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