February 20, 2013
Comparison of carbon emissions from six leading countries. Click image to enlarge.
The government will levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions according to a statement on the Ministry of Finance's web site. The tax will be collected by local the local taxation authority.
The Ministry of Finance did not lay out a timeline for the tax but in 2010 suggested a 10 yuan per metric ton of carbon dioxide in 2012, rising to 50 yuan per ton by 2020.
China is currently the world's largest CO2 emitter. It surpassed the U.S. in 2008.
There are only a handful of countries and sub-national entities that presently tax carbon. Finland and Sweden were the first countries to adopt a carbon tax in the early 1990s. Since then, Great Britain, Ireland, and Canada's British Columbia have rolled out carbon taxes.
The United States does not have a carbon tax nor any cap on carbon dioxide emissions.