China begins collecting an “environment tax”

China tries to hit back at its pollution problem. (istock)

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | January 2nd, 2018

As a further effort to protect the environment and cut down on pollution,  China began collecting an environment tax on January 1st, 2018.

The move is part of their Environmental Protection Tax Law, set to replace the more informal pollution discharge fee. The previous discharge fee, established in 1979, was China’s first attempt at controlling “dirty energy”, but the fee fell victim to loopholes exploited by smaller government bodies that exempted larger companies from the fee. Environmentalists and scientists called for a law to officially replace the fee system, as a way to better enforce pollution regulations. Some of these concerns cropped up after over 18000 Chinese officials failed or almost failed environmental regulation inspections.

The new law specifically targets public institutions and companies that release certain pollutants into the air, water, and soil. Companies are taxed for producing noise air, water and solid waste pollution, and are encouraged to come up with alternatives to reduce their pollution output.

The move is part of China’s overall plan to become a more green nation within the next few years.

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