China plans to tax carbon emissions

In an effort to preserve the environment and conserve natural resources, China plans to implement new taxes on carbon emissions, coal and water, reports Xinhua News Agency.

The government will collect an environmental protection fee plus the levy on carbon dioxide emissions, it said in a written statement on its finance ministry website.

Additionally, it will raise coal taxes, plus calculate the cost based on prices instead of sales volume. Water will also be taxed.

China is further considering a tax on energy-intensive products such as batteries and private luxury goods like airplanes.

The government has not said, however, when the new measures will be implemented.

In 2010, finance officials suggested levying a carbon tax in 2012 at 10 yuan ($1.60 US) per metric ton of carbon dioxide, as well as recommended increasing it to 50 yuan ($8.01 US) per metric ton by 2020.

China is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases. It has set goals for cutting emissions by reducing carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output, by 40 to 45 per cent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels.

Image: Hung Chung Chih /