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China Likely to Set Carbon Tax, NDRC Researcher Says

China, the world’s biggest polluter, is likely to introduce some form of carbon tax to help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, a government research official said.

Government researchers have studied and modeled various scenarios for introducing a carbon tax, Jiang Kejun, director of the Energy Research Institute at the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a forum in Hong Kong today, without elaborating on what kind of tariffs might be introduced or when.

China is taking measures on its own without a globally binding treaty to reduce its carbon intensity, or the amount of carbon it emits per unit of gross domestic product. There’s lot of debate and argument in the country over whether such a tax should be introduced, with some saying a carbon tax is for rich countries, according to Jiang.

The government is considering the possibility of a carbon tax and will quicken steps to develop a carbon-trading system, Xie Zhenhua, China’s top official overseeing climate-change talks, said on Nov. 23.

Xie didn’t offer any new proposals for the United Nations climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, starting Nov. 29, reaffirming China’s policy that rich countries such as the U.S. bore most of the responsibility for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

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