In a step toward combating global warming, China announced earlier this week that it would implement a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, reports Xinhua, China’s official state news agency.
Some economists view action by China as key in the international push to preserve the environment. While U.S. carbon emissions recently hit a 20-year low, China’s carbon emissions continue to rise and reportedly account for most of the world’s growth in carbon emissions. China is the largest polluter in the world and now burns nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined.
In the U.S., there is no carbon tax, though two liberal senators proposed a bill to tax carbon emissions last week, according to Reuters.
A high tax on carbon dioxide emissions could eventually stabilize the climate by forcing people to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles, according to Cornell University economist Robert Frank.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman recently said that China’s contributions to climate change could be deadly. “If you worry about climate change and stuff like that, then China is — Chinese growth is a wonderful human success story that could kill us all,” he said at the New York Times DealBook conference in December.