China to impose carbon tax to protect environment

Beijing: China, the world's largest carbon emitter, on Wednesday said it will introduce a set of new taxation policies designed to preserve environment, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

"The government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions," said Jia Chen, head of the ministry's tax policy division in an article.


A man wearing a mask looks up as he walks on a street on a foggy day of Bozhou, China. Reuters

The tax will be collected by the local taxation authorities, rather than the environmental protection department, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the official as saying.

Jia said, "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."

To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes.

A resource tax will also be levied on water, he said.

The article did not specify when the new measures will be implemented.

China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases and has already set goals for cutting these emissions. The idea of a carbon tax in China was first introduced by the country's ministry of finance in 2010.

Ministry’s experts had suggested levying a carbon tax at 10 yuan ($1.6) per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2012 as well as recommended increasing the tax to 50 yuan per tonne by 2020.

The government has vowed to reduce carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output, by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 in comparison to 2005 levels, the Xinhua report said.


Updated Date: Feb 20, 2013 17:55 PM

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