China considers climate tax

China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon. (Photography: Reuters / David Gray)

China is considering imposing a tax on carbon to reduce the use of dirty energy as its economy grows, the country’s top climate change negotiator says.

Su Wei said China was looking at the impact of an outright tax on carbon and whether it would overlap with the country’s plans for a pilot scheme on carbon emissions trading.

“I think that the carbon tax is one of the instruments that can be used in order to direct (the economy) to low-carbon development,” Mr Su told reporters in Washington.

Mr Su, director general of the climate change department at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said officials had not taken a final decision and were debating whether to use the term “carbon tax”.

“Whether we call it a carbon tax — or environment tax or resource tax or even fuel tax — we have lots of taxes already. We need to carefully redesign the category and type,” he said.

Chinese state media said last week that a proposal submitted to the finance ministry would impose a tax of 10 yuan ($US1.59) per ton of carbon within the next three years, targeting large users of coal, oil and natural gas.

Mr Su said China was also looking at a plan to put voluntary labels on low-carbon products “in order to try to give a clear signal to business and industry.”

China has surpassed the United States as the largest emitter of the greenhouse gases.

Source: ABC News



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