No tax on CO2 emis­sions in China’s en­vi­ron­ment law

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

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 web site. 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 noise pol­lu­tion. 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.—AFP

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