No tax on CO2 emissions in China's new environment law

China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, due to its heavy reliance on coal to provide electricity to its popula
China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, due to its heavy reliance on coal to provide electricity to its population of 1.37 billion

China has passed a law that levies taxes on pollution, but ignores carbon dioxide, one of the major contributors to global warming, according to the web site of the country's highest legislative body.

The National People's Congress (NPC) standing committee passed the law, the first to tax polluters, on Sunday, less than a fortnight after a red alert for smog left more than 20 cities in the country's northeast choking under a heavy haze.

Polluters will be charged for contributing to air, water and noise pollution, according to a copy of the legislation on the NPC's official .

But CO2 did not make the list, which includes air and water pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and sulfite, taxed at rates beginning at 1.2 yuan ($0.17) and 1.4 yuan ($0.20) per unit respectively.

It also stipulates a monthly tax ranging from 350 to 11,200 yuan ($50 to $1612) for .

The Environment Tax Law will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, due to its heavy reliance on coal to provide electricity to its population of 1.37 billion.

The fuel has also contributed to the country's severe smog problem.

Last week, cities across China's northeast went on "red alert" for air pollution, triggering an emergency response that included taking large numbers of cars off the road and closing some factories.

The crisis also spurred a call by Chinese President Xi Jinping for the country to develop clean energy sources in order to reduce smog, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Record high for global greenhouse gas emissions
Record high for global greenhouse gas emissions

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© 2016 AFP

Citation: No tax on CO2 emissions in China's new environment law (2016, December 26) retrieved 27 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-tax-co2-emissions-china-environment.html
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Dec 31, 2016
Since they can't actually avoid emitting CO2 in the near future, any tax on CO2 would be simply pointless bureaucracy and a waste of time and money.

A CO2 tax would make sense if there is a close competitor to fossil fuels, but since the alternatives have technical issues that prevent them from taking on coal and oil head on, any tax on CO2 would not actually make the people switch over to wind and solar etc. because it's practically unfeasible. It would just make energy more expensive and increase administrative costs in general.

When you can't subsitute one for the other, there's no competition, and a tax is counterproductive.

Jan 03, 2017
Inventions are often born of necessity. Without strong incentive of course there will be no alternative to fossil fuels. First create incentive, then see what happens.

Jan 03, 2017
"since the alternatives have technical issues that prevent them from taking on coal and oil head on,"
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Let's see how it works out.

I'm betting on the alternatives to coal.

Jan 03, 2017
Last thing mankind should do is tax life itself.

Better if we take more from those who take from the taxpayer.

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