BEIJING China is considering an environmental
tax on polluters to cut emissions, a senior government official
said on Monday.
"We are actively promoting this idea. But we have to
consult with relevant ministries," Pan Yue, deputy head of the
State Environmental Protection Administration, told reporters
on the sidelines of the ruling Communist Party's five-yearly
Beijing has put environmental protection at the centre
stage of its macro policies guiding the world's fourth-largest
economy to achieve sustainable growth, though analysts are
skeptical when it comes to implementing the well-intended
Pan did not give details on the scope of the tax levy or a
timeframe when such a new policy would come into effect.
President Hu Jintao, speaking earlier on Monday to
delegates at the 17th Party Congress, said China's economic
growth has come at "an excessively high cost of resources and
the environment." He vowed to improve the pricing mechanism for
scarce resources to account for environmental costs, among
other market factors.
Already the world's top emitter of sulphur dioxide, which
causes acid rain, China will overtake the United States as the
biggest producer of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide this year or
China said last month that it would take environmental
costs into account in electricity pricing, to encourage power
generation using clean and renewable resources.