墨西哥试行模拟碳排放交易 Mexico Looks to Curb Carbon with a New Cap-and-Trade System

In January protesters in Mexico took to the streets to express their anger at the gasoline price hike, or gasolinazo (1). Demonstrators set fire to a truck in Mexico City in protest of a price hike in 2009 (2). Credit: Alfredo Estrella Getty Images (protest); David de la Paz Redux Pictures (burning truck)

Mexico kicked off 2017 with a 20 percent spike in gasoline prices, driven in part by the phasing out of subsidies. Some consumers set fires at gas stations—a response that highlights the backlash countries can face as they stop subsidizing carbon-based fuels and start encouraging climate-friendly alternatives. Now the Mexican government and stock market are experimenting with a gentler tool for discouraging carbon emissions: cap-and-trade. Mexico, which in 2012 passed the developing world’s first climate law, is well placed to set an example for other developing economies looking to shrink their carbon footprints.

In cap-and-trade programs, regulators issue permits allowing companies to pollute a certain amount. In most systems, the cap gets lower over time, giving businesses a choice: slash emissions further or buy permits on the market from another company.

More than 80 Mexican companies are signed up to simulate permit trading. Using software developed by an organization within the Mexican Stock Exchange—MÉXICO2—companies are familiarizing themselves with the everyday logistics of carbon trading, says MÉXICO2 research analyst Andrés Prieto. By late 2018 the federal government will require Mexico’s biggest emitters to participate.

The nation has a cooperation agreement with California, which already trades carbon permits with several Canadian provinces. For now Mexico is learning from its North American neighbors’ experience and may eventually join that market. “The very big lesson we learned in California, in comparison with Europe, is that it is not enough to have certainty about the emissions quantity,” Prieto says. Polluters also want a forecast for permit prices. In Europe’s market, price volatility discouraged companies from making long-term investments in reducing their environmental footprint, despite a steadily lowering carbon cap. Mexico may also require a minimum price for carbon emission permits, as California does, so companies can better predict their future financial positions.

Mexico has no shortage of polluting industries—so progress in cutting emissions is within reach if the country can build up the capacity to regulate them, says economist Juan-Carlos Altamirano of the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C.

This article was originally published with the title “Emission Permission”

2017年伊始,墨西哥汽油价格飙升20%,部分原因是政府废除了补贴机制。作为抗议,一些消费者在加油站纵火,这一举动似乎在警告各国政府,如果取消石油燃料补贴并鼓励使用环保新能源,可能会遭遇强烈反对。目前,墨西哥政府及该国股票市场正在实验一种更加温和的减少碳排放的方式——限额排放与交易(cap-and-trade)。墨西哥在2012年就颁布了环保法,对那些想要减少碳排放的国家来说,墨西哥可谓是个好榜样。
在限额排放与交易项目中,监管部门会制定企业排放限额。在大多数项目中,该限额会逐步缩小,这就给企业留下了两个选择:一是在未来大幅减排,二是从市场上其他企业手中购买排放量。
目前有80余家墨西哥企业报名参加模拟交易。使用的软件称作MÉXICO2,由墨西哥股票交易所(Mexican Stock Exchange)的一家机构开发,在使用过程中,企业逐步熟悉了碳交易的日常流程,MÉXICO2研究分析员安德烈斯·普列托(Andrés Prieto)说。2018年年底前,墨西哥联邦政府将要求该国所有污染大户参与该项目。
墨西哥和美国加利福尼亚州(该州已经与加拿大的几个省开始了碳排放交易)签订了一项合作协议。目前,墨西哥正在向美国取经,最终可能会加入美国和加拿大的碳交易市场。普列托说,“和欧洲相比,我们从加利福尼亚州学到的重要一课是,仅有排放限额是不够的。”在欧洲市场上,由于碳交易的价格波动剧烈,所以尽管排放限额会稳步降低,但企业仍不愿意为减少碳排放而进行长期投资。墨西哥可能会和加利福尼亚州一样,给碳排放额度设定最低价格,这样一来企业就能更好地预测自己未来的财务处境。
墨西哥并不缺少污染企业——这意味着,如果能对这些企业进行监管,墨西哥就能在减排上取得进展,世界资源研究所(World Resources Institute,位于美国华盛顿特区)的胡安-卡洛斯·阿尔塔米拉诺(Juan-Carlos Altamirano)说。
撰文:卢卡斯·劳尔森(Lucas Laursen)
翻译:张哲
Categories: 碳市快讯