Penal taxes on pollutants to promote green development in China

While China may be perceived by some as dragging its feet at the current UN climate conference in Bonn, the country’s Environment Minister, Chen Jining, last week acknowledged the poor state of the country’s environment. He referred to high pollutant emissions, serious ecological damage and high risks, and said the government would take “more forceful” measures in the next five years to protect the environment and promote green development.

His statement came ahead of the State Council’s announcement of penal taxes on excess emissions of air, water and solid pollutants. The draft legislation does not extend penal taxation to the transport sector, but “green” vehicles such as hybrids and electric cars are specifically exempted, reflecting their use of “new energy”. 

We believe the Chinese government’s recognition of the positive impact vehicles powered by carbon neutral or reduced carbon fuels can have in promoting a cleaner, safer environment could lead to positive support for the waste to energy projects we and others are currently developing.

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