中国新环保法的四大缺憾

近日新闻记者柴静的纪录片《穹顶之下》引发国人对愈演愈烈环境问题的热议,片中环保部门执法过程中遭遇的各种尴尬除了引出黑色幽默般的笑点,也折射了当前环境管理体制的严重缺陷。无独有偶,顶级科技期刊《自然》杂志在今年1月22日也刊发了两位作者Zhang  Bo和Cao Cong的评论文章,详细论述了2015年1月1日开始实施的新环保法的四大缺憾。以下是该文的简要翻译:

2015年1月1日中国开始实施新的环境保护法,这标志着该国正式开始尝试平衡经济社会发展与环境保护间的矛盾冲突。该环保法被认为是中国环保史上最激进与严格的一部法律,其对各种环境违法行为的处罚进行了细化,包含了污染防治控制、提升公众环境意识以及保护对违法行为的举报等大量条文细则。同时该法也对各级政府及环保执法部门提出了更为明确的责任要求,并对企业设定了更高的排污标准。然而,新法面对复杂的中国环境问题显得远远不够,与生俱来的四大缺憾意味着其未来面临诸多挑战。

第一,  新环保法的权力受到制约。该法可能与其它法律比如农业法、森林法、草原法和水法相抵触并遭受相关部门的挑战。为了避免此类问题,许多国家颁布了纲领性的环境保护基本法。例如,美国在1969年制定了标志性的《国家环境政策法》,将环保职责与义务赋予联邦机构。1993年日本废除了旧的环境污染法和自然资源保护法,取而代之的是一部全面综合性的环境基本法。

第二,  新环保法的执行将因条块分割相互重叠的政府机构设置而受阻碍。当前有多个政府机构负责环境与自然资源管理,其中包括环境保护部,水利部,国土资源部,农业部,国家海洋局以及国家林业局。此外该法并未涉及负责管理中国碳税和碳排放交易系统的国家发改委。与国内政出多门形成对照的是其它国家往往采取独立统一的环保监管体系。在美国,直接向总统负责的国家环境质量委员会协调各联邦机构以及环保政策在联邦、州和地方政府的执行。同时,美国环保署代表联邦政府负责全部环境监管工作并基于独立的法律授权开展环境执法。意大利环境国土与海洋部负责全国所有土地、海洋、河流、湿地和森林的保护工作。其它类似的例子还包括德国的环境与自然保护及核安全部和巴西的环境部。

第三,  新环保法在污染威胁愈演愈烈的现实背景下仍未赋予普通公民基本的环境健康权。截至目前,全世界已有149个发达国家和发展中国家,包括俄罗斯、韩国以及菲律宾等,在它们的宪法中对公民环境权给予承认。尽管中国新环保法已明确规定普通公民及其团体以及非政府组织有权获取环境信息并参与环境监管,上述法律对象(部分满足特殊要求的非政府组织除外)却无权因严重的空气或水质问题对政府提起诉讼请求。目前迫切需要一个公共环境法律援助体系对环境公害受害人提供支持帮助。

第四,  新环保法执行与实施过程可能会受执法能力限制并遭受利益冲击。当前中国的环保机构主要在各级地方政府领导下开展工作,国家级的环保部主要为下级环保机构提供业务指导而缺乏足够的监管能力。地方政府(通常偏重经济发展)则牢牢地控制着当地环保机构的人事任命及财务决算并由此影响其决策。这意味着地方环保机构基本丧失了对涉及环境违法事件的公司或个人采取严格执法措施的能力,而实践这些权力本身也面临着诸多法律困境和实施风险。

2014年10月,中国共产党第十八届中央委员会第四次会议上决议通过了《中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定》,其中包括建立领导干部干预司法活动、插手具体案件处理的记录、通报和责任追究制度,希望籍此减少政府官员的司法干涉行为并对全党形成约束。该约束也同样适用于新环保法的法律实践。

最终,正如加州大学洛杉矶分校环境法学家Alex Wang所指出的那样,中国的环境保护必须被提高到“一个与经济发展、社会稳定和独生子女政策等类似的政府强力推进的战略优先高度”。

有效的环境管理需要一部健全的环保法律,如今它更需要强力的执行机制,清晰的权责界定以及合理的机构设置安排。

 

附原文链接:

http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/1.16736!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/517433a.pdf

Bo Zhang and Cong Cao, Four gaps in China’s new environmental law, Nature, 517, 433-434 (2015).

文章分类 清洁空气行动, 环境新闻解读
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