Will Asian countries impose a carbon tax?

Since China was declared the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2006, talk in international economic circles has revolved around the wisdom behind imposing a tax on carbon heavy industry.

Marathon Oil’s CFO sees carbon taxes becoming a reality

Not that a tax will necessarily mitigate the effects of emissions but it can certainly penalize industry for contributing to a high carbon environment. However, if indeed the reality of such a tax is looming, it is still quite far.

Western nations seem to agree that the practicality of a carbon tax certainly outweighs that of a cap and trade system. Singapore seems to agree. So far though, no Asian nation has decided to put its money on the idea. Asian emissions are projected to be massive over the course of the continent’s industrial revolution in the next couple of decades. Given the lack of any binding agreement following the Copenhagen climate talks last year, carbon taxes make a lot of sense.

Many Asian countries are looking into the idea but remain apprehensive about imposing a tax that will put them at a disadvantage in their race towards competitiveness. This is in spite of the fact that governments across Asia are creating industry strategies to foster green growth.

The Korea Herald reported last month that the Korea Institute of Public Finance, the government’s think tank has been studying a carbon tax for the past several years.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that China’s Ministry of Finance, tax bureau and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, are actively looking at the mechanics of imposing a tax to help curb pollution.

But while North Asian countries look into the viability of imposing internal taxes, India cannot stomach the idea of an impending carbon import tax imposed by the EU.

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