China Is Moving Forward With A Carbon Tax. US Politicians Who Oppose Carbon Tax Lose An Ally.

Wait Until China Acts on Climate. What? They Are!? - Climate DeskThe whole childish “you go first” between the US and China on carbon taxes might be coming to an end soon. According to a report in China’s state-run Xinhua news website, taxing carbon emissions is on the agenda for the Ministry of Finance (MOF). From Xinhua:

“The [Chinese] government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, Jia Chen, head of the ministry’s tax policy division, wrote in an article published on the MOF’s website.

It will be the local taxation authority, rather than the environmental protection department, that will collect the taxes.

The government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation, according to Jia.

To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes. A resource tax will also be levied on water.”

As consumers of $400 billion worth of Chinese goods (2011), the US deserves an assist for China’s pollution problem. I never quite understood how carbon tax opposing US politicians could pass so much blame on China for their lack of pollution controls when our consumption of their goods is driving it. At least the Inhofes, Rubios and Bachmanns will still have India to blame and do the “you go first” carbon tax dance with. [Mother Jones]


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Air Pollution In Beijing Hits Level ‘Crazy’: The Hard-To-Hide Cost Of China’s Technological Revolution.

Air pollution in Beijing China off the charts.

“What an awful ‘welcome’ back to Beijing it is, never seen it so bad. My apartment is on the 22nd floor and at times I can’t see the ground below the smog is so thick. Think I might take up smoking to get some fresh air.”
– Balmerino comment on “Top tip if you’re going out in Beijing: don’t breathe”

This last weekend, air quality instruments measuring lung-damaging tiny particulate matter (PM2.5) in Beijing went nuts and reached 600 micrograms per square meter (MPSM) – and it’s expected to go higher! According to the World Health Organization, 25 MPSM is considered a safe level.

We all have a role in Beijing’s crazy air pollution and we’ll all have to share the results. It’s the not-so hidden cost of China’s economic growth spurred by consumers around the world. [Guardian]

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President Obama Adresses Climate Change: Signs Bill Exempting US Airlines From EU Carbon Tax.

Plane flying over Heathrow Airport.The US had a opportunity to take action and lead non-EU countries on the issue of climate change and we did – by going in the opposite direction. The Guardian posted “Obama fails first climate test by rejecting EU aviation carbon regime” about President Obama’s decision to sign into a law a bill exempting US airlines from paying into a European Union carbon tax. It’s part of the EU’s effort to create an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that would assess a tax on flights to Europe that originate in the US. The tax would’ve cost US airlines $3.1 billion by 2020. President Obama claims that addressing climate change is a priority of his second term but it sure feels like getting a member of his own party elected in 2016 is taking precedent. Global Warming 1, Climate Action 0. [The Guardian]

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British Columbia’s 2008 Carbon Tax Is Reducing Emissions And Not Slowing Economic Growth.

Emeral Lake British ColumbiaGreat article on Sightline about the effects of British Columbia’s carbon tax on emissions and economic growth for the Canadian province. According to studies from the University of Ottawa and the BC Ministry of Environment, British Columbia’s adoption of a carbon tax system in 2008 has reduced emissions and has allowed their economy to grow without relying on the usual increased consumption of fossil fuels. Basically, BC has become more efficient and the upshot of their carbon tax will hopefully show the rest of the North America that economic growth and reducing emissions don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Check out the article for the details. [Sightline]

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AllEarth Renewable’s REWIRE Program Inspires Employees To Consume Less

AllEarth RenewablesGreat story from FastCompany.com, “Carbon Taxing Your Own Employees To Improve Their Energy Use,” about AllEarth Renewables’ effort to motivate employees to reduce the amount of energy they consume.

How it works
At the start of the year, AllEarth Renewables gives each employee $6,000 to cover their annual driving, electricity and heating costs. Whatever they consume over that amount, they have to return to the company. The program was implemented at the start of 2012 and AllEarth Renewables’ Public Affair’s Manager, Andrew Savage, hopes it’s an idea that will be copied by other companies. From the start, employees worked together to develop ideas on how to cutback their personal energy consumption. The program was so effective, it even changed one employee’s car buying decision to a more fuel efficient diesel vehicle.

In addition to cutting back how much energy co-workers consume, probably the best feature of AllEarth Renewable’s REWIRE program is that it’s a great morale builder. Staff members working together and motivating each other to consume less electricity. If we gave out Jubbys, AllEarth Renewables would be our first recipient. [FastCo.Exist]

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