A carbon tax is coming?

The central government clarifies the four major support directions for the "dual-carbon" fiscal and taxation policy

  China plans to peak its carbon dioxide emissions in 2030, achieve carbon neutrality in 2060, and complete the "dual carbon" goal in the shortest time in history.

  Recently, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the "Opinions on the Complete, Accurate and Comprehensive Implementation of the New Development Concept to Do a Good Job in Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutralization" (hereinafter referred to as the "Opinions"), putting forward 31 key tasks in 10 areas and clarifying that carbon peaking Road map and construction drawing of carbon neutral work.

  Fiscal and taxation policy support is indispensable to accomplish the "dual carbon" goal. The "Opinions" set forth four major requirements, including the need for governments at all levels to increase support for the development of green and low-carbon industries and technology research and development; improve government green procurement standards , Intensify the procurement of green and low-carbon products; implement tax incentives for environmental protection, energy and water conservation, new and clean energy vehicles and ships; study tax policies related to carbon emission reduction, etc.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance is taking the lead in drafting the "Guiding Opinions on Financial Support for Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality."

  On October 26, the State Council issued a notice on the issuance of the carbon peaking action plan by 2030, which mentioned that it is necessary to establish and improve a tax policy system that is conducive to green and low-carbon development, and implement and improve tax incentives such as energy conservation and water conservation, and comprehensive utilization of resources. Policies to better play the role of taxation in promoting the green and low-carbon development of market entities.

  A number of fiscal and taxation experts told China Business News that fiscal and taxation support policies are essential to achieve the "dual carbon" goal.

At present, governments at all levels have invested nearly one trillion yuan in areas such as ecological and environmental protection. In the future, new generations of information technology, biotechnology, new energy, new energy vehicles and other strategic emerging industries and low-carbon cutting-edge technology research and development will receive greater financial support. The procurement of 100 billion yuan of green and low-carbon products will also increase.

Accelerate the study of tax policies related to carbon emission reductions such as carbon taxes.

Fiscal funds support "dual carbon" intensified

  In order to cope with climate change, solve outstanding problems of resource and environmental constraints, realize the harmonious development of man and nature, and promote the high-quality development of China's economy, China has put forward the "dual carbon" goal.

As the foundation and important pillar of national governance, fiscal taxation plays an important role in facilitating this goal.

  Bai Yanfeng, dean of the School of Finance and Taxation of the Central University of Finance and Economics, told China Business News that in carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, fiscal and taxation policies must play a role in making up for market externalities. The economic behavior of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality should be appropriately stimulated, and on the contrary, fiscal and taxation policies should be restrained.

  The "Opinions" put forward four major requirements in improving fiscal and taxation policies, the first of which is that finances at all levels must increase support for the development of green and low-carbon industries and technology research and development.

  Professor Shi Zhengwen from China University of Political Science and Law told CBN that the current large carbon emissions are some traditional industries. Therefore, to achieve the "dual carbon" goal, it is necessary to deeply adjust the industrial structure and vigorously develop green and low-carbon industries.

In addition, major green and low-carbon technologies are also the key to achieving the "dual carbon" goal.

Therefore, fiscal funds will increase support for these areas in the future.

  In the deployment of vigorously developing green and low-carbon industries, the "Opinions" clearly require the acceleration of the development of a new generation of information technology, biotechnology, new energy, new materials, high-end equipment, new energy vehicles, green environmental protection, and strategic emerging such as aerospace, marine equipment, etc. industry.

In addition, smart grid technologies and new energy storage technologies are also required to speed up the progress and promotion of research and development.

  Bai Yanfeng said that some of the core technologies and key links that restrict China's green and low-carbon development require increased financial and tax support to solve the "stuck neck" problem.

In addition, in terms of improving the basic market conditions for green and low-carbon industries, such as the construction of new energy vehicle charging piles and charging stations, fiscal and taxation needs to increase support for "green and low-carbon" infrastructure, and for "green and low-carbon" products. Promote the application of "bridge paving".

  The second requirement of the "Opinions" is to improve the government's green procurement standards and increase the procurement of green and low-carbon products.

  Bai Yanfeng believes that a large number of related carbon emission fields and products such as buildings and vehicles are involved in the office process of government departments, and the use intensity is high.

Government departments start from themselves. At the above rates, government green procurement plays a leading and exemplary role in carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. At the same time, due to the large scale and large market of government procurement in China, it is important for related industries. The support and driving role of the field cannot be underestimated.

  China has established an institutional framework for government green procurement.

According to data from the Ministry of Finance, in terms of supporting green development in 2020, the national mandatory and priority purchase of energy-saving and water-saving products is 56.66 billion yuan, accounting for 85.7% of the purchase scale of similar products, and the national priority purchase of environmental protection products is 81.35 billion yuan, accounting for the purchase of similar products. Of 85.5%.

  At present, the most direct way to support the “dual-carbon” work is to increase financial investment, such as large financial investment in the field of ecological and environmental protection.

According to data from the Ministry of Finance, from 2016 to 2020, the national government has allocated a total of 441.2 billion yuan in ecological and environmental protection funds, an average annual increase of 8.2%.

Research on tax policies such as carbon taxes

  The other two deployments of the "Opinions" in improving the "dual-carbon" fiscal and taxation policies are: implementing tax incentives for environmental protection, energy and water conservation, new and clean energy vehicles and ships; and studying tax policies related to carbon emission reduction.

  The text of Shi said that China currently has some carbon emission reduction related taxes or preferential tax policies, but to achieve the "dual carbon" goal, it is still necessary to improve related policies, including exploring whether to levy a carbon tax, etc., to create a green tax system and give full play to it. Carbon reduction effect.

In terms of preferential tax policies, China currently implements preferential tax policies such as value-added tax, consumption tax and corporate income tax on clean energy and energy-saving equipment projects such as wind power and photovoltaic power generation.

New energy vehicles, public transportation vehicles and energy-saving vehicles and ships also enjoy relevant preferential policies such as vehicle purchase tax.

  In terms of taxation related to carbon emission reduction, China has already levied resource taxes on fossil fuels such as crude oil, natural gas and coal, consumption taxes on refined oil, environmental protection taxes on air pollutants, and vehicle purchase taxes on cars, etc. It has played an important role in reducing emissions and promoting low-carbon development.

  At present, in the research on taxation policies related to carbon emission reduction, carbon tax has attracted more attention.

Carbon tax is a tax that specifically targets carbon emissions and is levied on carbon dioxide emissions.

In the previous years when environmental tax legislation was made, someone suggested that carbon dioxide should be included in the taxation scope, but it was not included in the end.

  Shi Wenwen told CBN that relevant parties are currently studying whether to levy a carbon tax.

Both carbon taxes and carbon emissions trading are carbon emission reduction policy instruments.

At present, some internationally use one of these methods, while others use both.

This year, the national carbon emission trading market has launched online trading, and currently it mainly covers key emission units in the power generation industry.

Carbon emission rights trading is mainly aimed at large enterprises, using fixed emission quota trading as a market tool to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The carbon tax is to promote carbon emission reduction by increasing the cost of carbon emission taxation.

  "It is difficult for carbon emissions trading to cover all market players, and the EU has proposed a carbon border adjustment mechanism, imposing carbon border taxes on imported goods, etc. When China achieves the goal of'dual carbon', carbon taxes can be considered, and corporate carbon taxes can be offset Deduct the amount of carbon emission rights transactions to avoid repeated increases in corporate costs." Shi Zhengwen said.

  Xu Wenzeng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, wrote that there are two ways to implement a carbon tax in China. The purpose of the tax.

The second is to directly levy carbon dioxide emissions in addition to the existing taxes on fossil fuels, and introduce a new tax called "carbon tax".

  Bai Yanfeng said that China’s current tax system also has resource tax, refined oil consumption tax, vehicle and vessel tax and other tax systems that are closely related to green and low-carbon content. The process of peaking and carbon neutrality has a positive effect on reducing the possible impact of the carbon border adjustment tax proposed by some developed economies on the development of China’s trade.

  Xu Wen believes that the introduction of a carbon tax needs to weigh the relationship between the achievement of carbon emission reduction targets and the economic and social impact of the carbon tax, and to choose a reasonable time for reform.

It is necessary to coordinate the regulation of carbon tax and carbon emission rights trading, provide a relatively clear carbon price for carbon emission reduction, and apply a relatively fair carbon price to carbon emissions under different policy controls, so as to be able to comprehensively control carbon emissions. Regulation.

(Author: Chen Yikan)