China announces carbon tax

• February 22, 2013
china power plant

Power Plant, China. Creative Commons: Paul Ish, 2008

China’s Ministry of Finance announced that upcoming tax reforms will include a levee on carbon pollution. The tax is expected to begin at 10-yuan ($1.60) per ton tax on carbon and rise to 50-yuan ($8) per ton by 2020.

An excerpt from a press statement in China:

China will proactively introduce a set of new taxation policies designed to preserve the environment, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, according to a senior official with the Ministry of Finance (MOF).  The government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, Jia Chen, head of the ministry’s tax policy division, wrote in an article published on the MOF’s website.

It will be the local taxation authority, rather than the environmental protection department, that will collect the taxes.  The government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation, according to Jia.

While the proposed tax falls short of the global $80 (500-yuan) per ton tax suggested by experts as necessary to achieve a rapid decline in CO2 emissions, a paper from the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning suggests that even a small levee could provide an incentive to reduce emissions while bolstering China’s renewable energy industry.

Read more:  New York Times >>

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About the Author

Karl Burkart is the Digital Communications Director for the GCCA, the Global Call for Climate Action, and TckTckTck, a network of 400+ diverse organizations working around the world for greater action on the growing problem of climate change. Karl also blogs on technology and the environment for a variety of publications. You can follow him on Twitter @greendig.

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