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China plans to impose Green Tax

Beijing: China, one of the biggest culprits when it comes to carbon emissions, plans to impose `green tax` as it struggles to meet its commitments to reduce emission targets by 2015. China will "actively promote reforms in environment related taxes" and "conduct research regarding the collection of an environmental tax," a policy note carried by the state- run Xinhua news agency reported.

The move suggests that the debut of a `green tax` is now officially on the government`s agenda and that reforms will make substantial progress during the country`s 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), it said. There is not yet a specific environmental tax in China.

"However, if all environment-related taxes are counted under that category, we do have some items, such as the resource tax and consumption tax," Zhang Peisen, a researcher with the State Administration of Taxation said. Zhang said the creation of a new environmental tax will be rather complicated, as it will have to take into account the relationships that already exist between the country`s existing taxes. Calls for the debut of an environmental tax have grown considerably in recent years, as China`s breakneck development has taken a heavy toll on its resources and environment.

"The stress on environmental tax reforms in the guideline comes as China faces a grim situation in meeting its emission control target," Bai Jingming, an official from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said.

In a blueprint of China`s energy-saving programs, China says it aims to cut energy consumption per 10,000 yuan (USD 1,570) of gross domestic product (GDP) by 16 percent by 2015, saving 670 million metric tons of coal equivalent by that time.

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