酷兔英语

Sino-US Conflict Brews Over Climate Technology

The U.S. and China, long at odds over protecting intellectual property, are facing off in a new battleground at the U.N. conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia.

China wants developed nations like the U.S. to share cutting-edge renewable-energy technology at reduced costs with the developing world to help poor nations reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

But the idea is generating tensions with U.S. officials, because American companies don't want to sell this new technology at cut-rate prices, and they worry that innovative technologies could be illegally copied if they are deployed in China.

As the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, both China and the U.S. loom large on this Indonesian resort island where government delegates from nearly 200 countries have gathered to begin hammering out a global climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Talks are in very early stages, and many of the details of China's proposals aren't yet clear. But Zou Ji, a member of China's delegation who specializes in clean-energy-technology issues, said in an interview he would introduce a proposal during the meeting that would set up a body under the United Nations to promote the transfer of renewable-energy technology to poorer nations.

He will also propose that the U.N. body manage a fund that would help finance the spread of new, clean-power technologies. The fund also would support research on clean-energy technology and could acquire intellectual-property rights related to clean power. Mr. Zou argues that intellectual-property protections sometimes drive up the costs of emissions-reducing technology, keeping it out of the hands of poorer nations.

'We are dealing with something related to public good,' Mr. Zou said. 'It's a trade-off between intellectual-property rights and climate protection.'

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, was skeptical about the idea of any fund that would buy down intellectual-property rights. 'I personally don't quite see how that would work,' said Mr. de Boer last week. 'To my mind, technology is owned by the private sector. Private sector is not interested in selling technology at cut rates. The private sector is interested in investment opportunities.'

U.S. negotiators back the idea of an 'international clean energy fund' as part of the post-Kyoto accord to help emerging countries like China and India pay for cleaner and more efficient buildings, power plants and other facilities. But they vowed to reject any fund structure that might slash incentives for U.S. companies to develop new technologies.

'We do not support a technology-transfer fund that would buy down intellectual-property rights,' Harlan Watson, head of the U.S. delegation, told delegates Tuesday.

The debate harkens back to disagreements over technology transfer when the Kyoto Protocol was being negotiated that led to the creation of the Clean Development Mechanism. Companies in the West that pollute above Kyoto-mandated limits are allowed to meet their obligations by investing in clean-energy projects in the developing world. But so far, most CDM projects have involved only basic technology, such as capturing methane gases released by landfills.

Now, though, China wants access to more-complex technologies. 'We need carbon capture and sequestration,' says Hu Min of the Energy Foundation in Beijing, a nongovernmental group, referring to the undergroundstorage of carbon dioxide emitted when coal is burned. About 70% of China's electricity needs comes from coal-fired power plants.

China's focus on technology may be a negotiating tactic, aimed at pointing the finger at the developed world. China has long argued that developed nations like the U.S., which are largely responsible for the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, should take the lead in paying to fix the problem.

For its part, the U.S. wants to see China agree to binding emission cuts in a successor treaty to Kyoto. Beijing's refusal to do so under Kyoto was a major reason the U.S. declined to ratify the treaty. Some observers say Western nations will have to make concessions over issues like technology in order to give developing countries an incentive to agree to emission caps.

For now, the U.S. and the European Union are proposing the elimination of tariffs on pollution-reducing technologies and services to speed the spread of technology around the world. The U.S. and EU proposed the idea last week as part of the Doha round of trade negotiations.

'The easiest thing we could do to encourage the transfer of technology is to eliminatetariff barriers and non-tariff barriers that currently block trade in existing technologies that will help clean up the air and address climate change,' said James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who will be representing the U.S. in Bali.

美中两国长期以来围绕知识产权保护问题一直争执不休,而在联合国于印尼巴厘岛召开的气候变化大会上,两国再次针锋相对。

事情的起因是,中国希望美国等发达国家能降低要价与发展中国家分享先进的可再生能源署技术,协助贫穷国家减少对化石燃料的依赖。

但这一想法与美国官方的意见相左,因为美国公司不愿意降价转让新技术,并担心这些新技术一旦到了中国就会遭到剽窃。

由于《京都议定书》(Kyoto Protocol)将于2012年到期,此次全球近两百个国家的代表云集于巴厘岛正是为了制定出一份能接续《京都议定书》的全球气候协议,而美国和中国作为世界最大的两个温室气体排放国,双双成为了会议的关注焦点。

相关谈判仍处于起步阶段,中国所提出建议的许多细节也还不清楚。不过中国代表团的清洁能源专家邹骥接受采访时称,他将在本次大会期间提交一份计划草案,建议成立一个联合国下设机构,负责促进向贫穷国家转让可再生能源技术。

他还将建议由这个新设机构管理一笔基金,用于资助新清洁能源技术的推广,支持清洁能源技术的研究,以及取得相关技术的知识产权。邹骥称,知识产权保护有时候会起到增加减排技术推广成本的作用,从而妨碍贫穷国家获取这些技术。

邹骥表示,中国的建议是以公共利益为出发点,是在知识产权与保护全球气候两者之间求得平衡。

然而《联合国气候变化框架公约》(U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change)的执行秘书伊沃•德布尔(Yvo de Boer)却对这种通过基金以打折价取得知识产权的做法是否可行表示怀疑。德布尔表示,他个人认为这个办法不太行得通。在他看来,技术是掌握在私营部门手中,私营机构感兴趣的并非降价转让技术,而是投资机会。

美国代表倒是支持成立"国际清洁能源基金"的想法,以作为后《京都议定书》时代的一项措施,来为中国、印度等新兴国家建造更清洁、能源使用效率更高的建筑、发电厂和其他设施买单。但是美方坚决反对设立任何可能打击美国企业开发新技术积极性的基金。

美国代表团团长哈兰•沃森(Harlan Watson)表示,美国不支持设立以折扣价取得知识产权的技术转让基金。

实际上,这场争吵可以追溯至《京都议定书》谈判时期,当时正是因为各国在技术转让方面意见不统一而催生出了清洁发展机制(CDM)。根据此机制,污染排放超过《京都议定书》规定的西方企业,可以通过在发展中国家投资清洁能源项目而完成自己的减排义务。但迄今为止,多数CDM投资项目只涉及一些基础性技术,如回收垃圾填埋后释放的甲烷气体等。

然而,中国现在希望获得更复杂的技术。美国非政府组织──能源基金会(Energy Foundation)驻北京办事处的胡敏表示,中国需要碳收集和保存技术。他所指的是将燃烧煤炭释放的二氧化碳收集并储存在地下的技术。目前中国电力供应的七成左右来自燃煤发电。

不过中国在技术话题上穷追不舍也可能是一种谈判技巧,目的在于将矛头指向发达国家。长期以来,中国一直指责以美国为首的发达国家要为温室气体增加至目前水平负主要责任,并应该带头为解决此问题买单。

至于美国方面,则希望中国同意在《京都议定书》后续协议中承担明确的温室气体减排义务。而《京都议定书》未明确要求中国承担这一义务正是美国拒绝签署该议定书的一个主要原因。某些观察人士表示,西方国家必须要在技术转让等方面作出让步,以鼓励发展中国家同意为自己的温室气体排放设置上限。

目前美国和欧盟的建议是通过取消污染减排技术和服务的关税来推动相关技术在全球范围的推广。上周欧美在多哈回合贸易谈判中已提交了这项建议。

白宫环境质量委员会(White House Council on Environmental Quality)主席詹姆斯•康纳顿(James Connaughton)表示,最简单的办法,就是取消各种关税和非关税壁垒,让能够清洁空气并解决气候变化问题的各项现有技术自由交流。康纳顿也作为美方代表出席了此次巴厘岛会议。
关键字:英语国际新闻
生词表:
  • dependence [di´pendəns] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.信赖,依赖 六级词汇
  • fossil [´fɔsəl] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.老顽固 a.化石的 四级词汇
  • greenhouse [´gri:nhaus] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.温室,玻璃暖房 六级词汇
  • delegation [,deli´geiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.代表团 六级词汇
  • framework [´freimwə:k] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.骨架;计划;机构 六级词汇
  • cleaner [´kli:nə] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.清洁工人;干洗商 四级词汇
  • mechanism [´mekənizəm] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.机械装置;机制 四级词汇
  • pollute [pə´lu:t] 移动到这儿单词发声 vt.弄脏;败坏,玷污 六级词汇
  • dioxide [dai´ɔksaid] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.二氧化物 六级词汇
  • binding [´baindiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声 a.捆绑的 n.捆绑(物) 四级词汇
  • ratify [´rætifai] 移动到这儿单词发声 vt.批准;认可 四级词汇
  • incentive [in´sentiv] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.刺激;鼓励;动机 六级词汇
  • elimination [i,limi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声 n.消除;淘汰 六级词汇