Zhang Qiong: Enhance Legal Construction to Boost Low-Carbon Economy

Date: Aug 12, 2011      Source: WEC      

Human society has entered into a period of civilized development. Historically, we have experienced the civilization from agriculture to industry, from laggard and material-want production to modern and material-rich production. Human and society obtained unprecedented booming. On the premise of such background, low-carbon economy emerges accordingly, which is not only a rational choice of social development, but a realistic requirement of modern civilization. The development of China's low-carbon cities, fundamentally, lies in the improvement of relevant laws and regulations, which aim at forming an institutional and favorable policy environment for ecological urban development. Therefore, we shall consider low-carbon development as a long-term strategy of national development by way of policy, laws and regulation, so as to stimulate, guide and proceed low-carbon economy and ecological city development.

To improve the laws, regulations and policies in a low-carbon economy, we shall consider following aspects:

1. We shall enhance and improve policy construction so as to form complete policy framework in the aspect of low-carbon development.

From the perspective of current China's legal framework, legal system needs to be further improved, which is shown as follows:

(1) We shall formulate basic laws for low-carbon development, which serve as a guidance of other department laws, administrative laws, regulations and policies. Furthermore, we shall introduce international relevant laws and policies. Thus, we may make clear low-carbon development objective fundamentally and from the macroscopic way, build basic policies and measures on low-carbon ecologic development, standardize laws and regulations in the respect of energy development, utilization and conservation, and serve as basic legal systems to promote and guarantee low-carbon economic development.

(2) Coverage of current laws and regulations concerning low-carbon economic development is far from enough

Under the current principle and policy, there lack restrictive standards and powerful operability. Therefore, we need to further research and formulate independent laws and regulations in the fields of petroleum, natural gas and urban energy conservation lamps, and improve legal systems in terms of recycling, energy conservation, environmental protection and urban ecologic construction, etc.

(3) Low-carbon development needs not only ideological support, but specific policies and measures.

While emphasizing the role of laws and regulations, we need to continuously strengthen rationality of such policy, and constantly raise people’s awareness about the importance of law enforcements. Besides, we need to emphasize target-oriented and effective legal belief, with a view to forming complete institutional framework, evident efficiency, well-organized legal systems to ensure their effective implementation.

2. Continuously improve policies and measures on low-carbon development to institutionally invigorate low-carbon eco-development.

The key to promote low-carbon ecological development lies in ceaseless institutional innovations, introduce new policies and measures to invigorate low-carbon development. Relevant guiding system should be set for key player, in order to ensure the concept of low-carbon development will become key market force and demand, further be evolved into voluntary action of market entities, who can be shifted from passive reactor into active participant. So and so only, low-carbon ecologic development can obtain lasting momentum and support.

Institutionally, while giving play to the restrictive and propelling function, we need to emphasize the incentive and guiding role of market mechanism, so as that market entities may benefit from low-carbon development and obtain advantages in market competitions. Therefore, we shall establish sound mechanism on government administration, market participation and market guidance. Apart from administrative management, governments concerned should establish a kind of mechanism to form self-management and self-restriction based on markets. While emphasizing restrictive index, governments should pay more attention to flexible control and effective guidance.

3. We shall improve inclining policy on low-carbon development so as to boost institutionally driving force.

As a national policy, the development of low-carbon economy shall embody inclining support and system guarantee, and enhance support on low-carbon economy and cities’ ecological development. On the one hand, the government shall give more support, increase financial budget, build corresponding capital guarantee mechanism, further strengthen support on low-carbon technological innovation, create technological guarantee system on low-carbon economic development, establish complete and preferential financing system, expand financing channel, as well as set up diversified investment input and guarantee mechanisms; on the other hand, we shall adopt preferential tax policy and government subsidies measures to guide low-carbon economy and eco-city development, to form effective incentive and guidance mechanisms, with a view to offering lasting and effective driving force and creating a benign social and legal environment for low carbon economy and eco-city development.

4. We shall improve supervision and stimulation mechanism, construct social environment favorable for low-carbon economic development.

As a systematic project, the development of low-carbon economy and ecological city shall be driven via economic, administrative and legal means as well as public opinions etc, so as to form synergetic forces and restrictive systems. Institutionally, we shall further improve some mechanisms and measures on governmental administration and social supervision, guarantee governmental sectors to implement source administration, subsequent supervision, external supervision, and to prompt market entities to proceed self-management; at the same time, we shall, via social supervision mechanism, guide the public and social organizations to participate in and push forward low-carbon eco-cities, vigorously popularize the concept of low-carbon urban development, enhance the social responsibility of market entities in terms of low-carbon economic development, raise the awareness of the whole society on low-carbon environmental protection, so as to form dense social atmosphere in promoting low-carbon economy and eco-cities development.

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