March 07, 2013
Comparison of carbon emissions from six leading countries. Click image to enlarge.
A carbon tax proposed under the country's most recent five-year plan was expected to go into effect in 2011, but Jia Kang, the head of research at China's Ministry of Finance, said the tax will not be introduced this year.
The carbon tax is intended to reduce China's greenhouse gas emissions, which are the highest in the world and have been outpacing the country's breakneck speed of economic growth. Public awareness of emissions has grown in recent years due to choking local air pollution from power plants, industry, and burgeoning car ownership.
While it is delaying the carbon tax, a carbon trading system for seven cities is moving forward. The cap-and-trade program would regular up to a billion tons of emissions by 2015, according to Bloomberg.