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China's ecological protection compensation mechanism will be fully rolled out

  • Date: 2019-02-18
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Abstract: In order to obtain real benefits for ecological protectors, China's ecological protection compensation mechanism is being fully rolled out. At the beginning of 2019, 9 departments, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Development and Reform Commission, jointly issued the Action Plan for Establishing a Market-oriented and Diversified Ecological Protection Compensation Mechanism (hereinafter referred to as the "Action Plan"), which clarified the timetable and roadmap for advancement and ecological protection compensation The policy framework of the mechanism has been basically established and continuously improved. Recently, Tianjin, Hunan, Chongqing and other places have accelerated the implementation of ecological protection compensation schemes. Increasing the intensity of compensation, improving the compensation mechanism, and improving the long-term mechanism have become the focus.
In order for ecological protectors to obtain tangible benefits, China's ecological protection compensation mechanism is being fully rolled out. At the beginning of 2019, 9 departments, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Development and Reform Commission, jointly issued the Action Plan for Establishing a Market-oriented and Diversified Ecological Protection Compensation Mechanism (hereinafter referred to as the "Action Plan"), which clarified the timetable and roadmap for advancement and ecological protection compensation. The policy framework of the mechanism has been basically established and continuously improved. Recently, Tianjin, Hunan, Chongqing and other places have accelerated the implementation of ecological protection compensation schemes. Increasing the intensity of compensation, improving the compensation mechanism, and improving the long-term mechanism have become the focus.
However, relevant experts said in an interview with the "Economic Reference" reporter that in the process of fully rolling out China's ecological protection compensation mechanism, they are still facing difficulties such as different levels of economic and social development in various regions, incomplete data surveys and ecological value assessment systems And pain points. In the future, we should further clarify the property rights system and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of policy implementation.
Policy framework has been basically established
The Action Plan states that by 2020, a market-oriented and diversified ecological protection compensation mechanism will be initially established, the whole society's enthusiasm for ecological protection will be effectively promoted, and a policy environment in which beneficiaries will pay and protectors will receive reasonable compensation has taken shape.
The "Action Plan" clearly states that it is necessary to improve the system of compensation for resource development, compensation for pollutant emission reduction, compensation for water conservation, and offset compensation for carbon emission rights, reasonably define and allocate ecological environment rights, improve trading platforms, and guide ecological beneficiaries to ecological protectors. Compensation. It also proposes nine tasks of improving the resource development compensation system, optimizing the allocation of pollution rights, improving the allocation of water rights, improving the offset mechanism of carbon emissions rights, developing ecological industries, improving green labels, promoting green procurement, developing green finance, and establishing green benefit-sharing mechanisms.
For example, with regard to pollution rights, we will explore the establishment of pollution rights trading systems in ecologically protected areas. Enterprises can reduce the amount of pollutant emissions generated by eliminating backward and excess capacity, cleaner production, cleaner transformation, pollution treatment, and technological upgrading and upgrading. Trading in the market. Establish a regional ranking system for pollutant discharge intensity within the province where conditions permit, and the lower ranking regions will reasonably compensate the higher ranking regions. In addition, ecological protection areas and beneficiary areas are encouraged to carry out horizontal ecological protection compensation. Explore the establishment of a mechanism for the lower reaches of the river basin to compensate for water resources provided by the upper reaches that are better than the water environmental quality targets.
Pan Helin, a senior researcher at Pangu Think Tank and a postdoctoral fellow in applied economics at the China Academy of Finance Sciences, told the reporter of the Economic Reference that the principle of the ecological protection compensation mechanism is "who develops, who protects, who destroys, who recovers, who benefits, who Compensation, whoever pollutes, who pays ", the ecological protection compensation mechanism, especially the market-oriented ecological protection compensation mechanism, following the principle of" polluter pays, beneficiary pay "is an important means to mobilize the enthusiasm of all parties and protect the ecological environment, but also Important content of ecological civilization system construction.
In fact, the ecological protection compensation mechanism is not the first mention. As early as 2016, the State Council issued opinions on improving the ecological protection compensation mechanism. Since then, it has also been deployed in the "Plan for Implementing the Important Reform Measures of the Nineteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (2018-2022)" issued by the China Central Office and the Division of Labor for the Implementation of the Important Reform Measures of the Nineteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China by the relevant central authorities. .
"In recent years, China has been actively exploring ecological protection compensation mechanisms. The new environmental protection law also clearly states that the state should establish and improve ecological protection compensation systems, and the relevant policy framework has been basically established and is constantly being improved." Pan Helin said.
Local version plan speeds up
The local version of the ecological protection compensation system is also accelerating. Related arrangements have been made at the intensive local meetings.
For example, Tianjin proposed to improve the ecological compensation mechanism and promote the establishment of a national demonstration zone for ecological civilization. The "Regulations on Ecological Environment Protection in Tianjin", which will be formally implemented on March 1, is also clear, establishing and improving a compensation system for ecological protection. The municipal and relevant district people's governments should implement compensation funds for ecological protection and increase their compensation for key ecological protection areas. The people's governments in the beneficiary areas and ecological protection areas can make ecological protection compensation through negotiation or in accordance with market rules.
Fujian Province also stated that it will increase comprehensive ecological protection compensation and forest ecological benefit compensation this year, increase the ecological protection compensation standard of the whole river basin, and further improve the ecological protection compensation mechanism linked to the effectiveness of ecological protection and the allocation of transfer payment funds.
In addition, the two provinces of Anhui and Zhejiang recently signed the "Agreement on Horizontal Ecological Compensation for the Upstream and Downstream of the Xin'an River Basin". As China's first inter-provincial river basin ecological compensation mechanism pilot, the Xin'an River Basin ecological compensation mechanism has officially completed the third round of contract extension. Anhui and Zhejiang provinces jointly set up horizontal ecological compensation funds for the upstream and downstream of the Xin'an River Basin, during which the two provinces each contributed 200 million yuan each year. In response, Kong Xiaohong, Mayor of Huangshan City said that Huangshan will focus on creating a "long-term version" of the ecological compensation mechanism in the river basin; focus on creating an "extended version" of the ecological compensation mechanism in the river basin; and focus on creating a "promotional version" of the ecological compensation mechanism in the river basin.
It is no coincidence. Chongqing Municipality and the Hunan Provincial Government recently signed the Compensation Agreement for Horizontal Ecological Protection of the Huangshui River Basin. As long as Chongqing's outbound water quality meets the standards, Hunan in the downstream will compensate Chongqing; if it does not, Chongqing will compensate Hunan. It is reported that Chongqing is currently negotiating with neighboring provinces such as Sichuan, Guizhou, Hubei, and Hunan, and plans to build a compensation mechanism based on the principle of unified mechanism design and promotion by province and river basin.
"At present, the ecological protection compensation mechanism is mainly based on financial incentives, direct transfer payments, regional cooperation and other financial compensation mechanisms, and market-oriented compensation mechanisms are also being explored." Pan Helin said, for example, the establishment of Xin'anjiang in Huangshan City, Anhui Province Green development funds, water rights transactions, water tickets, and the China Water Rights Exchange have been formally established in Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and Zhejiang Dongyang-Yiwu. "It can be said that various regions have accumulated some experience in promoting the practice of ecological protection compensation."
Xue Tao, deputy dean of the E20 Joint Research Institute of Peking University's School of Environment, also told the reporter of the Economic Reference Daily that the use of ecological protection compensation mechanisms to solve external and non-systematic problems in environmental protection is a worldwide problem. The basic path of active exploration. Among them, the CDM carbon trading mechanism and water rights trading model are relatively mature in some regions.
Multiple difficulties and pain points to be resolved
However, experts also pointed out that in the process of China's ecological protection compensation mechanism being fully rolled out, there are still many pain points and difficulties that need to be resolved.
"In the data survey and evaluation section, the current assessment of the ecological function value of natural resources within the relatively natural red line is relatively reliable and internationally recognized. The problem lies in the land (such as farmland, urban greening) that is greatly affected by humans, Evaluation of the ecological function value of water bodies and other aspects. "Xue Tao pointed out that without adequate basic research and data accumulation, the ecological protection compensation mechanism is difficult to achieve overnight.
In addition, Xue Tao said that the ecological industry is different from the environmental protection industry, and resource utilization and even participation in the full chain extension and integration to find value increments are the characteristics of the industry. However, except for a few areas with great potential for resource utilization or major technological breakthroughs to resolve resource bottlenecks, the ecological industry is still in its early stages, and most areas of environmental governance still require government coercion and financial subsidies.
Pan Helin pointed out that the scope of China's ecological protection compensation is relatively small, the standard is low, repeated compensation, a single form, and the long-term mechanism is insufficient, and there is a "one size fits all" phenomenon. From the perspective of funds, it is highly dependent on the central government and local governments' financial funds and investments. The market-based compensation mechanism is still in the exploratory stage and has not yet been established. The system of benign interaction between protectors and beneficiaries has not yet been established. For example, the benefits of industrial development are far greater than the benefits of ecological protection, and the price of cattle and sheep is much higher than the benefits of grassland protection. These measures have certain difficulties.
The exploration of reform of green finance also faces some obstacles. Xue Tao pointed out that, for example, green insurance cannot play a sufficient role due to the limited number of participants, and the incomplete environmental loss compensation system and low level of recognition also restrict the performance of the insurance system. "Other aspects of green finance are also constrained by the fact that many participating entities are still simply pursuing commercial interests, and this is precisely due to the fact that the ecological compensation system has not been implemented, but also has an internal relationship. As a result, the externality cost has not been fully internalized, and the externality gain has not been estimated. The situation of value consideration has not fundamentally improved. "
From Pan Helin's point of view, whether it is financial capital or investment, or a market-based ecological protection compensation mechanism, it must be based on ecological protection costs, such as the management costs of rivers and grasslands, the cost of development opportunities, and the value of ecological services. Judgment standards should be basically balanced to clarify the rights and obligations of protectors and beneficiaries. Only by clarifying the property right system can we truly establish a market-based compensation mechanism, and we can use the property right system to set up "environmental property rights" in grasslands and rivers.
"Different levels of economic and social development in different regions, the timetable for the comprehensive promotion of the ecological protection compensation mechanism is a bit tight. The effectiveness and efficiency of the inter-ministerial joint meetings should be further improved." Xue Tao said. (Ban Juanjuan)



Source:Economic reference

Date:Feb 18, 2019