若華盛頓州公投通過課徵碳稅,當地能源成本將升高。(美聯社)



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課汙染戶碳稅?華盛頓州交由公投決定

2016/10/10

(美聯社)為因應氣候變遷,美國華盛頓州立法者近年來曾嘗試讓汙染者為自身碳排放量付費,但未能成功,而現在選民將做出決定。

Washington lawmakers have tried and failed in recent years to make polluters pay for their carbon emissions to fight climate change. Now, voters will get to decide.

一項將在11月進行的公投會詢問選民,該州是否應對燃燒煤和汽油等化石燃料徵收全美首見的直接碳稅。

An initiative on the November ballot asks voters whether the state should impose the nation's first direct carbon tax on the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline.

發起人表示,居民有道德責任遏制溫室氣體排放,而碳稅是做到這一點的最好辦法。他們說,碳稅讓化石燃料變貴,

鼓勵企業節約或改用清潔能源,碳稅收入還能讓其他稅收降低,讓稅制更公平。

Sponsors say residents have a moral responsibility to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and a carbon tax is the best way to do it. The tax encourages businesses to conserve or switch to clean energy by making fossil fuels more expensive, and it makes the tax system fairer by using the revenues to reduce other taxes, they say.

華盛頓州州長印斯理去年曾提出讓汙染者付費的提案。(路透)

華盛頓州州長印斯理去年曾提出讓汙染者付費的提案。(路透)


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企業界則表示,碳稅將推升燃料與能源成本,讓華盛頓州的公司處於競爭劣勢。

Businesses say the tax will drive up fuel and energy costs and put Washington companies at a competitive disadvantage.

而這項行動也讓部分人士困惑。去年該州州長印斯理曾提議限制排放並讓碳汙染者付費,

支持州長做法的主要環保團體及其他組織,現在都反對這項公投提案。他們表示提案採取了錯誤的方法。

And in a move that has bewildered some, major environmental and other groups _ including those that backed Gov. Jay Inslee's proposal last year to cap emissions and make carbon polluters pay _ oppose the initiative. They say it takes the wrong approach.

一旦實施碳稅,未來化石燃料恐怕將變貴。圖/本報資料照

一旦實施碳稅,未來化石燃料恐怕將變貴。圖/本報資料照


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創立「華盛頓碳排放」的經濟學家鮑曼則稱該提案是個偉大的氣候與稅收政策。「華盛頓碳排放」為一民間組織,共收集超過35萬份連署才讓732號提案符合公投資格。

Yoram Bauman, an economist who founded Carbon Washington, the grassroots group that gathered more than 350,000 signatures to qualify Initiative 732, defended it as great climate and tax policy.

他說:「提案內容幾乎都對華盛頓州有利。」

"It does almost everything right for Washington," he said.

但塞拉俱樂部、華盛頓州環境委員會與倡導組織「Front and Centered」均稱這項提案的碳定價方法錯誤,將傷害該州稅收。批評者說,印斯理州長提議的汙染費,會籌資投入教育、運輸、清潔能源並幫助受氣候變遷影響的弱勢群體,732號提案則未提供這類投資。

But the Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council and the advocacy group Front and Centered say the initiative is the wrong carbon-pricing approach and will hurt the state's revenues. Whereas Inslee's pollution fee would have raised money for education, transportation,clean energy and programs to help disadvantaged communities affected by climate change, Initiative 732 provides no such investments, critics say.

當初支持州長做法的環保團體及組織,現在都反對這項公投提案。圖/本報資料照

當初支持州長做法的環保團體及組織,現在都反對這項公投提案。圖/本報資料照


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說文解字看新聞

文中一組織名為「Front and Centered,」名稱取自片語front and center,指「最重要的」意思,原指劇院中前排中間的座位,後衍生出「最重要的、最主要的」意思。例句:Economic growth was front and center on the presidential candidates campaign agenda.(經濟成長是該名總統候選人競選中最重要的政見。)

聯合報/陳韋廷 報導
聯合報/吳佩玲、范晏萍、吳懿雯 製作
主圖/本報資料照

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