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英文解釈の思考プロセス 第210回


今回の題材は、2017年12月14日付の The Economist 紙に掲載されたエッセイ、New life for the Paris climate deal  ”パリ協定の新たな息吹” です。サブタイトルに A flurry of meetings should help curb greenhouse-gas emissions.  But the global agreemnent is still essential  ”矢継ぎ早の国際会議は温室効果ガス排出抑制に貢献するはずです。それでも、国際的合意は不可欠です”  とある様に、気候変動に対する国際的な取り組みの現状について考察したエッセイです。全文の和訳はオリジナルの次にあります。


New life for the Paris climate deal

A flurry of meetings should help curb greenhouse-gas emissions. But the global agreement is still essential


Print edition | International

Dec 14th 2017 | PARIS

IN MAY France’s environment ministry moved to an 18th-century mansion close to the National Assembly and Elysée Palace. The relocation—and a pretentious new name, the Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition—hint at Emmanuel Macron’s desire to be seen as a global leader in the fight against climate change.

Since his election to the French presidency seven months ago, green activists have placed their hopes in Mr Macron as a bulwark against his carbon-cuddling American counterpart, Donald Trump. They came to Paris in force for a One Planet Summit on December 12th, at which Mr Macron hosted more than 50 world leaders to celebrate the anniversary of the UN climate compact agreed in the French capital in 2015. Mr Trump, who decided in June to pull America out of that deal, was not on the invitation list.

Mr Macron launched a campaign to attract American green technologists and climate scientists to move to France. Another six countries joined a coalition led by Britain committed to phasing out coal, bringing the total to 26. The market value of companies agreeing to follow recent recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures from a task force set up by the Financial Stability Board, an international watchdog, reached $6.3trn. The World Bank said it would stop funding oil and gas exploration in two years. The European Union pledged €9bn ($11bn) to help poor countries fight climate change. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charity, said it would match the €270m the EU has promised for research to help poor farmers in Africa and Asia adjust to global warming.

The flurry of announcements, and the pomp, were intended to breathe new life into the Paris deal. America’s planned departure did not strike it a mortal blow, as some greens feared it would. It may even have nudged the last two holdouts, Nicaragua and Syria, to sign up in November. But the pledges made so far are inadequate, and many are conditional on other countries keeping their side of the bargain. Fresh momentum is sorely needed.

The Paris agreement committed signatories to do what is necessary to keep global warming “well below” 2°C compared with pre-industrial times by 2100, and preferably closer to 1.5°C. Most scientists agree that if the increase is more than 2°C, there is a serious risk of catastrophically higher sea levels and more floods, superstorms and wildfires like those that have afflicted places from Kolkata to the Caribbean to California this year. Greenhouse gases released by humanity have already warmed Earth by 1°C or so since the 1870s. Because planet-cooking carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere for thousands of years, stabilising emissions will not suffice to hit that target. Emissions must fall, and quickly (even into negative territory: carbon dioxide will need to be scrubbed from the air somehow). Instead, they are expected to edge up by 2% in 2017, after three years of near-stability.

This year’s “Emissions Gap” report from the UN, published in October, shows that the first set of climate pledges submitted by 164 countries corresponds to barely a third of the cut in emissions needed to keep warming below 2°C (see chart). Studies suggest that these “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) would probably result in temperatures 2.9-3.4°C higher than in pre-industrial times—and that only if they are fully implemented, which seems unlikely.


Mr Trump has said that America, the world’s second-largest greenhouse-gas emitter behind China, will not honour the NDCs submitted by his predecessor, Barack Obama. Nor will it pay into the UN’s Green Climate Fund, set up in 2010 with the intention of transferring $100bn a year by 2020 to poor countries. Commitments to date put the figure closer to $70bn. And most poor countries have made their Paris pledges conditional on rich countries helping them pay to adopt cleaner energy and adapt to a changing climate.

Some summitry

Mr Macron’s jamboree is one in a year-long series of climate get-togethers, some of them initiatives by green-minded politicians and some of them part of the Paris deal. In November the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN climate convention, under which the Paris agreement was forged, descended on Bonn for its annual pow-wow. Earlier this month city leaders from America and elsewhere met in Chicago, invited by the Democratic mayor, Rahm Emanuel, to discuss how cities can fight climate change. California’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, is planning a similar, larger extravaganza in September in San Francisco. Three months after that it will be time for the next annual COP, which is due to be held in Poland.

All this summitry provides an opportunity for politicians and philanthropists to make further commitments. It also puts pressure on laggards and reminds the public of a problem that is unfolding so slowly that is easy to ignore. But unless political leaders like Messrs Macron, Emanuel and Brown redouble their efforts, the prospect of keeping global warming to under 2°C looks poor.

In order to get as many countries as possible on board, the Paris agreement set an ambitious goal but remained studiously vague about how it was to be reached. By next year the signatories are supposed to have fleshed out precisely how to calculate, review and ratchet up their nationally determined contributions. Reaching consensus on what counts as a reduction in emissions, and who should monitor progress, will be delicate, admits Patricia Espinosa, the head of the UN climate secretariat. In Bonn, striking a tentative agreement on something as basic as deciding what to discuss during the coming year counted as a coup.

It is unfortunate that the rotating presidency of COP means that the task of shepherding through the final document falls to Poland. Unlike the French organisers of the Paris COP two years ago, Poland’s populist Law and Justice government lacks diplomatic nous and credibility on environmental issues. Jan Szyszko, the environment minister, who is to chair the proceedings, has questioned humanity’s role in global warming and shares Mr Trump’s fondness for coal. The host city of Katowice lies in the heart of Polish coal country. Mr Brown’s take, that “Poland is not exactly a hotbed of climate activism,” understates the problem.

Poles apart

Nazhat Khan, the climate envoy from Fiji, which is to pass the presidency of COP to the Poles on the eve of the summit in Katowice, nevertheless believes that agreement can be reached there. The presidency’s role is not central to the COP process, she says. Officials in Bonn said they doubted that the Poles would sabotage the talks, for fear of global opprobrium. But these reassurances are too lukewarm to be truly comforting. Christiana Figueres, Ms Espinosa’s predecessor and now a climate campaigner, says she is nervous.

The longer-term outlook is also worrying. For all Mr Macron’s vim, France has yet to prove it can be as combative as America used to be, complementing the EU’s more conciliatory tactics, says Durwood Zaelke of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, a think-tank in Washington. Nor has China, which has seized the rhetorical high ground vacated by America, matched its fine words with actions.

In his big speech to the five-yearly Communist Party congress in October, the country’s president, Xi Jinping, spoke of China as a “torch-bearer” and “in the driving seat” as far as environmental matters were concerned. That suggests he intends China to become a global leader on the issue. But “the Chinese are still working out what this means,” says Thomas Hale of Oxford University. Although China’s longstanding policy of not meddling in other countries’ business is only selectively adhered to, it probably does not intend to lecture others on the importance of upgrading their national pledges. Even “torch-bearing”, which sounds like China means to set an example with domestic policies such as switching from coal to renewables for generating electricity, may not amount to all that much in practice (see article). This week in Paris Ma Kai, China’s vice-premier, insisted that a long-awaited emissions-trading scheme will be unveiled before January. But the plans have reportedly been scaled back, and now exclude entire industries.

Just as well, then, that America’s retreat seems as half-hearted as China’s charge. For all Mr Trump’s hostility to environmentalism, Ms Khan says she spied “no appreciable difference” between the size and behaviour of previous American delegations and the one Mr Trump sent to Bonn. America has often been more involved in global greenery than political rhetoric would suggest, says John Vogler of Keele University. The country’s departure from the Kyoto protocol, the Paris agreement’s ill-fated predecessor, under George W. Bush did not stop Americans from attending UN climate events. The country sends officials to meetings of the UN convention on biodiversity, which it has never ratified. And it is still formally bound by Mr Obama’s signature on the Paris deal. Indeed, its withdrawal does not take effect until two days after the next presidential election—and if Mr Trump is not re-elected, his successor might decide to stay.


Even if America does leave under the next administration, a parallel presence is likely to continue. Delegates in Bonn were treated to the curious spectacle of a second American delegation, as brash as the official one was low-key. It pitched a gigantic tent outside the UN compound, luring passers-by with free food and hosting talks by notable American greens including Mr Brown, Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican mayor of New York who now heads the financial-disclosure task force. The Fijian prime minister, who presided over the official programme, stopped by. Ms Espinosa said that if the State Department reneged on its duty to report America’s greenhouse-gas emissions to the UN, she would accept an inventory compiled and paid for by “America’s pledge”, a philanthropic effort led by Mr Brown and Mr Bloomberg.

The pair also dined with Mr Macron and touted the importance of climate initiatives by cities, states and businesses. Thanks to such actions, Mr Bloomberg enthuses, America is already halfway towards meeting its Paris pledge—even though that pledge has formally been abandoned. Mr Obama had promised to slash emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2025. Firms and investors increasingly understand that curbing climate change is in their long-term interests, he says. Polls in many countries show that a majority of citizens agree.

Don’t forget Paris

But for all the importance of subnational green efforts, the UN climate process is still essential. It is the only mechanism available for chivvying stragglers to do more. And if global warming is to be kept within reasonable bounds, action will be needed not just by the most committed, but also from those currently doing little or nothing. The Paris deal’s voluntary, flexible nature means that it is national pledges, backed by legislation, that collectively add up to global climate governance. Mr Macron’s summit can be judged a success if it reminds the world of this fact.

This article appeared in the International section of the print edition under the headline “New life for the Paris deal”

< 全文和訳例 >

今年の5月、フランス環境省は国会とエリゼ宮(大統領官邸)に近い18世紀に建造された由緒ある建物へ移りました。その移転 - 及び、環境連帯移行省という意味ありげな省名への名称変更 - は、気候変動との戦いにおいてフランスを世界的リーダーの座に据えたいとのエマニュエル・マクロン大統領の野望を読み取る手掛かりとなります。

7か月前にフランス新大統領に選ばれて以来、環境保護活動家は、温室効果ガス排出規制に消極的なアメリカのドナルド・トランプ大統領に対する防御壁としての希望を、マクロン大統領に託して来ました。環境保護活動家は、12月12日の気候変動サミット(One Planet Summit)参加の為に大挙してパリを訪れ、そのサミットではマクロン大統領が2015年のパリ協定締結2周年を祝福する為に50ヵ国以上の首脳を迎えた式典を開催しました。6月に、アメリカはパリ協定から脱退すると表明したトランプ大統領は、その式典に招待されませんでした。




国際連合環境計画から10月に発表された今年の ”排出ギャップレポート” は、164ヵ国のパリ協定締約国によって誓約された温室効果ガス排出の削減目標は、平均気温の上昇を2度以下に抑える為に必要な量の3分の1であることを示しています。いくつかの研究は、これらの ”国家レベルで決定された(Nationally determined contributions)” 目標値では、平均気温の上昇は産業革命以前と比較して2.9度から3.4度の上昇となる可能性が高いことを示唆しています - それも、各国が誓約した値を達成することを前提としていますが、それすら難しそうなのです。





締約国会議の議長国が持ち回り制であることは、最終的な合意文書作成の責任をポーランドが担うことを意味しているのは、不運なことです。2年前にパリでの締約国年次総会の議長国だったフランスとは異なり、大衆迎合的政党である”法と正義”が政権の座にあるポーランドは、外交面での如才や環境問題についての国際的信頼を欠いています。年次総会の議長を務めることになるヤン・シシュコ環境大臣は、人類の活動が地球温暖化の原因であることに疑問を呈し、トランプ氏と同様に石炭の使用に好意的なのです。開催地となるカトヴィツェ市は、ポーランドの炭鉱地帯の中心部に位置しています。”ポーランドは環境対策については必ずしも熱心とは言えない、” というブラウン州知事の見解は、とても控えめに思えます。



長期的展望も思わしくはありません。マクロン氏の熱意にも関わらず、フランスは今だオバマ政権時代のアメリカと同程度に積極的となり得るのかは不明であり、よりささやかなEUの方針から大きく踏み出してはいません、とワシントンのシンクタンクである Institute of Governance and Sustainable Development のダーウッド・ザルケ氏は述べています。又、アメリカに代わって気候問題に関する国際的なリーダーを目指している中国も、言行が一致してはいません。

10月に開催された5年に一度の中国共産党大会において、習近平国家主席は、環境問題に関して中国は “率先的” に” 世界を先導している” と演説しました。これは、中国が環境問題の分野で世界のリーダーとなる意思があることを示唆しています。しかし、”中国人はそれが何を意味するのかについて今だ思いあぐねている”、とオックスフォード大学のトーマス・ヘイツは考えています。他国の内政には介入しないという長年に及ぶ中国の方針は恣意的に適用されてきたにしても、中国が他国に対して温室効果ガスの排出削減目標を高くするよう説教することはなさそうです。火力発電について石炭から再生可能エネルギーに転換するという国内政策を成功事例としたいという中国の “率先的” な役割でさえ、実際には大した効果は期待できそうにもありません。今年、パリにおいて中国共産党中央政治局委員の馬凱は、温室効果ガスの排出取引の枠組みが、ようやく今年中に発表できると強調しました。しかし聞くところによると、その枠組みは当初予想されていた規模から縮小し、電力業界以外の産業は全て対象外となっています。

そうであれば、アメリカのパリ協定からの脱退宣言も、中国の意気込みと同程度に実質が伴っていないかの様です。トランプ氏による環境保護活動家に対する敵意にも関わらず、”トランプ政権がボンに派遣した使節団は、規模や行動の面で過去の使節団と本質的な差異はありません。” と、密かに観察していたカーン女史は言います。その政治的姿勢とは裏腹に、アメリカはしばしば環境保護の推進に関与してきました、とキール大学のジョン・ボグラーは述べています。ジョージ・W・ブッシュ政権時代にアメリカが、パリ協定の先駆けとなる京都議定書から脱退した後も、アメリカは気候変動対策の国際会議への参加を見送ることはありませんでした。アメリカは、同国が批准していない生物多様性条約締約国会議にも使節団を派遣しています。そして、アメリカは今だオバマ氏が署名したパリ協定の効力から免れていません。実際に、パリ協定からの脱退は次の大統領選の2日後に有効となるのです -そして、仮にトランプ氏が再選されなければ、後任の大統領は脱退を撤回する可能性があります。

アメリカの次期政権が脱退を撤回しなかったとしても、アメリカの二重姿勢は今後も継続しそうです。トランプ大統領がボンへ派遣したアメリカの公式な使節団は、興味深くもあり、かつ壮大な規模の非公式使節団に迎えられました。それは、公式の使節団が低姿勢であったのとは対照的にその存在感を誇示していました。その非公式使節団は会議場の外に巨大なテントを設置し、無料の食事と、ブラウン氏、アル・ゴア氏(クリントン政権下の副大統領)、そしてかつては共和党出身のニューヨーク市長で現在は気候関連財務情報開示タスクフォースの責任者であるマイケル・ブルームバーグ氏を含む著名なアメリカの環境保護活動家の講演を提供することで、会議に参加した人々の注目を集めていました。ボンでの締約国年次総会の議長を務めていたフィジー首相も、そのテントに立ち寄りました。もし、アメリカの国務省が締約国の義務である自国の温室効果ガス排出量を国連に報告しないのであれば、ブラウンとブルームズバーグ両氏が主導する慈善組織である “アメリカの誓い(America’s pledge)” が編纂し資金提供した集計表を受領するつもりである、とエスピノーサ女史は言いました。

両氏はマクロン大統領とも会食し、都市、州、そしてビジネスの分野における率先的な取り組みの重要性を強調しました。これらの自発的な努力によって、アメリカはパリ協定で誓約した削減目標の中間値を既に超えました- 公式にはこの達成目標は破棄されたのであるにしても - とブルームバーグ氏は熱狂的に歓迎しています。オバマ氏は温室効果ガスの排出量を2005年の水準から2025年までに26%〜28%削減すると公約していたのです。企業や投資家は、気候変動を抑制することが長期的な利益に適うことについて益々理解を深めています、と彼は述べています。多くの国における世論調査の結果は、大多数の市民が同じ思いを抱いていることを示しています。



To be continued.