By on January 29, 2010

Europe has largely shifted towards a CO2-based vehicle taxation regimen. Next in line to tax what comes out of your car may be, wonders of wonders, China.

“Drivers in China may be taxed on the level of emissions produced from their vehicles in the future,” writes China Daily, citing the comments of an official of the Beijing Development and Reform Commission (BDRC).

“The central government is researching the subject of environmental tax reform of vehicles, including a measure to tax vehicles owners according to vehicle emissions,” said Zhang Yanyou, deputy head of BDRC.

If and when the carbon tax becomes official, people with clean cars will pay less, people with ozone-oinkers will pay through the nose. So far, so good. Would there not be a comment from an “unnamed official” at China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

“The more distance your car covers, the more you will pay.”

Uh-oh. Mileage based taxation coming to China? Dutch GPS boxes in every car? Even a simple odometer-reading at the end of the year would overtax the bureaucracy here.

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6 Comments on “China To Tax Pollution...”

  • avatar

    Pollution there really is bad. Everytime I go there, I get sick immediately and it takes me days to get used to the atmosphere… like I’m an Avatar on Pandora or something.

    I think there biggest focus is on keeping people OUT of cars. Since so many new money Chinese are now able to buy cars, the government is trying to make the cost as high as possible to drive them.

  • avatar


    The government is trying to make the cost as high as possible to drive them.

    What do you do when you go there? Hang out in KTVs? Did you miss the news that China expanded and extended its Cash for Clunkers program, and is accelerating its hugely successful “cars to the countryside” program? Most of the big car factories are owned by the government. They want to sell more cars, not less.

  • avatar

    Whereas the coal burning was hard to get used to . . . not sure where you’re “getting sick”.

    Honestly, the cigarette smoke EVERYWHERE was more concerning than cars, but that was 3 years ago . . . Sichuan Province and Hong Kong.

  • avatar

    It is hilarious to hear a cigarette smoker complain about air pollution. Isn’t smoking popular in China?

    BTW, it isn’t CO2 that makes the air murky.

  • avatar

    I find it ironic that a Communist People’s Republic is using taxation as a tool for behavioral change. Mao’s in-grave rotational rate must be approaching redline.

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