China’s Carbon Tax

As a tax policy person, it’s heartening to see China reportedly preparing to tax carbon “proactively,” while America can’t enact the weak substitute, cap and trade.  The leading Chinese paper gets into the economic effects, but doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, tax evasion.  Still.  That paper is “The Design on China’s Carbon Tax to Mitigate Climate Change.”  “On” is not a typo:

the paper is intelligible, but it’s not up to standard American English – with missing articles, and with phrases like “The restrain or control CO2 emission is the most direct aim of carbon tax levy.”  The 2010 paper is at

The 2013 news is that China is moving toward adoption of the tax.  The NY Times, in, cites “Design on” and this article from China:

BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) — China will proactively introduce a set of new taxation policies designed to preserve the environment, including a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, according to a senior official with the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

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, according to Jia.

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.


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