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信息公开是环境管理的有效手段

中国最近颁布了政府信息公开条例,首次要求政府和企业公布环境信息。马军籍此呼吁公众利用这一规定来促进中国环境问题的解决。

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在国务院4月25日颁布《政府信息公开条例》之后,国家环保总局副局长潘岳宣布,《环境信息公开办法(试行)》(以下简称《办法》)将从2008年5月1日起正式施行。作为中国第一部关于信息公开的部门规章,《办法》对于满足公众的环境知情权有着里程碑式的意义,将为推动公众参与到环境保护事业中提供重要的先决条件,对加强环保部门的依法行政也将是一个极大的促进。

我们的机构从去年6月起着手开发中国水污染数据库,其间我们既体会到近年来环境信息公开取得的进展,也切实感觉到信息公开还存在的不足,比如截至2006年9月,全国还有上百座城市没有公布当地水污染的相关数据和信息;一些地方环保局虽然开设了自己的网站,但其中很多仅仅把政务公开当成了办事制度公开,仅提供各部门的职责的简单介绍和一些行政会议的报道,登录这样的网站,公众很难获取有价值的环境信息。

《办法》通过部门规章的形式,大大扩展了环境信息公开的范围。根据《办法》要求,环保部门必须公开十七方面的环境信息,涵盖了环境管理的各个方面。今后,环保部门不能仅仅公开办事程序与结果,还要公开其掌握的大量环境信息。环境信息公开会由此变得有章可循,相关部门也不再能够对环境信息想公开就公开,不想公开就不公开。

《办法》不但要求环保部门扩展环境信息公开的范围,还订立了严格的时间限制,而且规定公众可以对违反规定的环保部门依法申请行政复议或者提起行政诉讼。环保总局制定这样一部法规,无异于作茧自缚;而它能够顶住内外压力,在诸多部委中第一个出台这样的法规,体现了环保总局将公众的环境利益置于部门利益之上,值得赞赏。

在政府主动公开的基础上,《办法》明确公众可以向环保部门申请获取政府环境信息,而且申请人只需要提出申请公开的政府环境信息内容的具体描述和形式要求,而无需说明申请公开的理由。这一接轨国际先进机制的安排如能得到有效实施,将改变长期以来把信息公开看做是政府的好意甚至恩赐的认识,体现出对公民环境知情权的尊重。依法申请公开能否有效实行,将检验各级环保部门是否能真正贯彻国务院《政府信息公开条例》“公开是原则,不公开是例外”的立法精神。

对正在经历工业化的中国来说,企业环境信息公开有着特殊重要的意义。《办法》重申了《清洁生产促进法》中要求污染严重的企业公开信息的强制规定:一方面,环保部门要公布污染物排放超标,或者排放总量超过总量控制指标的企业名单;另一方面,这些企业也必须公布其主要污染物的名称、排放方式、排放浓度和总量、超标、超总量情况;企业环保设施的建设和运行情况以及环境污染事故应急预案。上述要求如果能得到有效实施,将有助于促进公众了解身边的污染源,并参与对企业治污的监督。

一些经历过环境污染高发阶段的发达国家的经验表明,信息公开本身就可以成为一种有效的环境管理手段。1986年美国首次要求公司每年公开报告他们向环境排放的有毒有害化学品,依据企业报告的数据,美国媒体和环境组织对排放量最大的公司进行了曝光。为消除负面影响,很多公司开始采取措施,削减污染排放,此后美国的有毒有害物质排放量持续下降。在这一成功实践的影响下,欧盟也从2001年起,要求约50000企业披露有毒有害物质的使用和处理情况,并要求网上公布。

信息公开在中国同样可以促进企业承担起环境责任。依据多个政府部门公布的环境信息,我们开发的中国水污染地图中录入了5100多家违反环保法规的企业。今年3月22日,21家环保组织向社会发出绿色选择倡议,提示消费者部分产品生产过程超标排放,应谨慎选择。在公众压力下,先后已经有20多家国际、国内的大企业和我们进行了沟通,提交了他们对违规事件的解释,其中6家承诺要在规定的时限内接受第三方审核,以向公众证明他们已经改正,并有能力做到达标排放。

今天,世界正在形成这样的认识,即人的生存与发展都离不开环境,环境权是人权的一个组成部分;而参与到环境事务的管理中,乃是公民维护其环境权的最有效方式。关心环境利益的公众,应该积极利用《环境信息公开办法(试行)》所提供的条件,关注政府所披露的环境信息,在知情的情况下努力参与和自身利益相关的环境事项的管理。我们相信,环境信息公开将促进公众和政府之间形成良性互动,进而有力地促进中国环境问题得到解决。

 

马军,北京公众与环境研究中心主任。

本文摘自《南方都市报》

首页图片Axel Kirch

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Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

强烈支持!

终于感觉政府的环保部门开始做实事了,粗略地看了一下几个省级环保局的网站,都有公众参与的部分,或咨询或投诉,这挺好的!
只是,有的网站要找到这个咨询或投诉的地方,真是很困难了,要是更醒目一点就好了,就像湖北环境保护网上那样,放在最上方的位置。
Juliet

Strong support!

Reguarding the project of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), I've seen some websites of the Local Environment Departments, they all have a corner for public participation, to give advice and make complaints: I think it' s great!

Although in some of them, it is quite difficult to find this corner, if you open your eyes you can often see it. Especially the website of the Hubei Environment Department could do better at making it more evident.

Juliet

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

不确定

马军的观点令我印象十分深刻。众所周知,信息是有力量的。但我不认为公开的信息会反映一家公司实际的、真实的环境信息,尤其这家公司是国营企业时。

Not Sure

i was very impresed by Ma Jun's statement. however, as we know it, information is power and i don't think that the information published will reflect the ACTUAL & REAL environmental impact of a company expecially if it is a state owned enterprise.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

共同关心地球

我认为非政府组织和政府组织应做到环保信息互通。有些信息存在于非政府组织活动中,但不能被政府所知。关心地球需要所有人的努力,因此在未来,非政府组织和政府组织必须做到公开交流,进一步促进政府透明度。Pauline

To care the earth together

I think NGO and GO should share the environment protect rules together, Some information delivering in NGO program activities. but some of them did not be summaried for sharing with GO. And look after the earth need all of us think of that , So NGO and Go must make very open and healthy communication in the future. to promote official transparency well. Pauline

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

探讨一下

信息不对称造成环境风险就和信息不对称造成金融风险一样,那是经济学中证明了的,所以强调环境信息公开,不如引用教科书来的好。
其二,我曾经看过国家环保总局弄的环境影响评价中的公众参与,既觉得不伦不类,且觉得操作性极差,这是环保部门引导带来的恶果。
我觉得真要信息公开,首先要告诉大家的是,环境保护部门长期监控和掌握的信息有哪些?把他们列出来,让公众讨论哪些可以和能够及时的公开,环境保护部门也该及时互动告诉大家他们同意哪些可以公开并如何公开和如何获取。或者告诉大家,哪些环境信息涉及到国家安全不能公开,大家就知道哪些信息能够公开并容易获得了。做不到这些,发多少条例都是虚假和形式。
我觉得,国家环保总局首先应该公布给大家一些东西,已示垂范:
如:全国每年进口的进口可以利用做原料的废物,批了多少许可证,多少量,涉及到哪些企业,收了多少手续费,实际进口了多少,利用了多少。这样公众才能确实关注并监督洋垃圾的问题。
再如,总局的财政经费花了多少用于全国性科技研究,这些研究被总局的下属研究部门用了多少,拨给地方多少,解释地方搞国家层面的研究为什么总是没有经费?而别的部则非常充裕。
再再如:要告诉公众,污染物没有减排,而各地环境空气质量则在改善中这个结论是怎么得到的?需要数据的支持,公开一下。
如果国家总局连这样的公开都做不好,再印多少条例也是形式的东西。
然而,我并不是泼马军先生的冷水,我总觉得,环境推进信息公开,应该在一些微观的层面上逐步推进以至于正常化,才是我们应该做的。

(不流明)

Let's discuss this

Economics texts already prove -- information asymmetry causes risks to the environment just like it does financial risks

So stressing the importance of transparent environmental information is better using quotes from textbooks.

I've also seen the results of public participation by China's environmetal protection bureau in assessing climate effects, it was neither here nor there, nor actionable, this is a fiasco in the hands of the environmetal protection authorities.

If information must be publicly available, what should first be made known is:

What information do the authorities know?

Let them list it, let the public discuss what can be released, the authorities should also let people know which information can be released, how it can be accessed, or let the public know which information is related to public security and cannot be made public

Otherwise, everything else is just window dressing.

The environmental protection authorities should let everyone know, for example: China’s imports of refuse (used as raw materials), how many permits for how much were given, which companies are involved, how much in handling fees was charged, actual imports, usage. This would raise awareness of the “foreign rubbish” issue. Or, how much of the EPA’s budget was used for national research, how much was used by its subsidiaries, local governments, why do we always hear complaints about lack of funding for such research? While other government departments are flush with cash. Or: tell the public if there was no reduction in emissions, why do local government reports say the air quality is improving? We need factual, statistical backup. If the bureau can’t even release this sort of information, no amount of clauses and regulations will help the cause. Mind you, I’m not pouring cold water on Mr Ma Jun, I just feel, the public availability of environmental information should be gradually realized at a micro level, that’s something we should be doing.

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

困难与机遇并存

正如马主任所说的那样, 这真是一个里程碑式的环保法令. 环境信息公开能提高公众环保认识与意识, 对地方政府和环保局工作促进并监督, 并在法规与企业形象两方面对企业环保质量予以压力. 其作用将无可置疑.

但我们也必须看到, 这只是环保道路上万里长征的重要一步. 在具体实施也执行上还会有很多难题和变数. 这是解释了为什么这只是 “试行”法令.

困难一: 各个环保局的水平, 能力不一. 只怕很多环保局都没有所需要资金,设备和能力, 去获取相关的信息, 更不用说公之与众. 这有与地方政府的财政支持能力, 重视程度有关.

困难二: 不同地区, 不同经济结构, 不同发展规律阶段, 造成不同地区不同比例的污染. 对于某些污染严重的地区, 多排污同时意味着企业的增收, 地方经济的发展规律. 传统发展模式与环保有不可调和的冲突. 试想, 如果不改变地方政府单纯的经济指标考核方式, 这些地方政府如何会有动力去支持当地的环保工作. 更有可能发生的是当地政府对环保工作的阻挠. 对与发展严重落后地区, 发展是大主题的情况下, 如何处理好发展与环保和谐并进, 是一门艺术, 不是环保法令就能解决的.

困难三: 企业信息的真实度. 政府能相信企业信息披露的多少? 更不用说公众了. 这不止在中国, 在发达国家也是一个难题. 欧盟正是因为相信了企业提供的信息, 对七大污染行业大量多给了2004-2007间的CO2 排放额, 结果从2006年到2007年, 每吨CO2 (2004-2007给予的排放额) 的交易价几乎降为零. 2006年英国CO2排放量增了1.25% (2005年降了0.01%). 根据BBC的特别报道, 两年内, 整个欧盟CO2排放也增长1%至2%. 欧盟吸取教训后, 怕不再会听取企业, 行业的一面之词去设指标. 我认为, 其将任用中立的, 享有盛誉的评估质询企业代为从事相关的评估, 并监督. 在中国, 这类质询业尚在萌芽阶段, 主要力量还是环保局, 如何保证信息质量, 评估质量是一道难题.

但是, 重要的是, 我们走出了这重要的一步, 困难与机遇并存!

天明

challenges as well as opportunity

Just as Mr. Ma says, this is a cornerstone among environmental protection regulations. Opening the environmental information to the public can raise the social awareness, supervise and empower the local government, and push the enterprises to meet environmental standard by using the legal instrument as well as building company images. It will undoubtedly take significant effect. However, we must realize that it is only a step, though important, in our a-thousand-mile long way. Even that small step would face a lot of difficulty and challenges in implementation process. This partially explains why it’s just in a “trial period”. Challenges NO.1, the capability of Environment Protection Bureaus (EPBs) varies. I’m afraid that quite a lot EPBs lack funding, equipment and capacity to implement the regulation. They might also not be able to access relevant information, let alone open to the public. It’s highly related to the support from local governments. Challenges NO.2, different level of pollution shall be attributed to different areas with diverse economic structure in various stages of social development. For those highly polluted areas, releasing more pollutants means more revenue and economic profit. Thus the traditional way of development is intrinsically in a conflict with environmental protection. Think about it, if the local government is purely using economic growth as the assessment standard, how could they be motivated to protect the local environment rather than to find fault with the protection work, which is likely to happen in this political setting? For the less developed areas, how to balance between development and environmental protection shall be a matter of arts, which could not be solely handled by law. Challenges NO. 3, how real is the information given by the enterprises? How much can the government trust the company? How much can we as ordinary citizens trust them? It’s a difficult issue as well as in advanced economy. EU mistrusted the information, thus allowed seven industries more quota for CO2 emission between 2004 and 2007. This almost eliminated CO2 emission cost for them between 2006 and 2007. Britain, in 2006, after 0.01% decrease in 2005, increased its CO2 emission by 1.25%. According to BBC’s special report,CO2 emission in EU has generally increased by 1-2% within two years. Learning a serious lesson, EU might not easily trust the enterprises any more. I assume, it would hire neutral assessment agency with high reputation to evaluate and supervise. In China, such type of agencies is still in the very beginning. The main force is still the EPB. How to guarantee the quality of information is a real challenge. But, importantly, we take a significant step. The challenges is always with the opportunity!

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

政府扮演很重要的角色

为了保护环境,政府在以下方面扮演很重要的角色:
1.制定工业遵循的规章;
2.实施相关规章;
3.教育大众;
4.给学校提供教育材料(教育我们的新一代!)。
这里有太多需要政府去做的事情。

Government plays a very important role

To protect the environment, government plays a very important role.
1. Set regulations for industries to follow.
2. Implement regulations.
3. Educate general public.
4. Set up education materials to school (educate our new generations!)

There are so many need to be done by the government!

Default avatar
匿名 | Anonymous

没人相信不讲真话的人

密尔1859年在[论自由]中谈到言论不自由时说:

“如果发表的意见是正确的,则人们改正谬误获得真理的机会就会被剥夺;如果意见是错误的,人们也不能对真理有比较清晰的理解和比较鲜明的印象,因为这样的理解和印象只有在真理同谬误的斗争中才能获得。”

No body believes people who don't speak the truth

In his 1859 text "On Liberty" John Stewart Mill while talking about freedom stated that,

"If the published idea is truthfull, if it provides a chance for real understanding, it will be exploited. Whereas, if the published idea is wrong, it allows the reader no further clarification or understanding of the truth. Because, this kind of explanation and impression can only be found in the battle between truth and error."