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China Explores Putting a Tax on Carbon

China's Ministry of Finance is developing a study that explores the effects and impacts of levying environmental taxes to curb overall emissions of greenhouse gases.

The report, which was described to the National Business Daily last week, could be out within a month, according to Su Ming, the deputy director of a think tank within the Ministry of Finance.

Su also explained that the report will look at taxes beyond just CO2 emissions, focusing also on sulphur dioxide, waste water and ammonia.

The news comes soon after China surpassed the United States as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases; although the country has repeatedly called for rich nations to foot more of the bill for addressing climate change, as well as take responsibility for supply chain impacts from Chinese exports, the report shows that the country is looking at its own impacts as well.

"At a time when calls for the globe to control emissions of carbon dioxide are growing louder ... promotion of environmental taxes is much needed," Su Ming told the National Business Daily.

 Although the report is just an initial step in a process that will likely take some time to roll out, it is welcome news in advance of this December's global climate talks aimed at developing the next global climate treaty.

Smokestack photos CC-licensed by Flickr users wburris and skew-t.

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