BEIJING, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- China says it's considering a carbon tax within three years to tighten its emissions regulations on polluting industries and put its economy on greener footing.
A draft of a plan to impose a tax on emissions of greenhouse gases has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance for review, China Daily reported Friday.
The tax, aimed primarily at large users of coal, crude oil and natural gas, is likely to be charged at a rate of 10 yuan ($1.59) for each ton of carbon dioxide a business or other operation discharges.
Tax cuts would be given to companies that take steps to reduce their emissions, Su Ming of the Finance Ministry's Fiscal Science Research Center said.
China emitted 8.33 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2010, a quarter of total global emissions of the greenhouse gas, a report by the British energy company BP PLC said.
During climate talks in Durban, South Africa, last year, China pledged to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 17 percent by 2015.
"But 2012 may not be a good time to introduce carbon taxes, considering the risk (they might introduce) of slowing economic growth," Su said.
He said the taxes would start to be collected by the end of the China's 12th Five-Year Plan in 2015.