Taiwan’s Proposed Carbon Tax Looks Too Low to Curb Emissions

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan could set its carbon tax at around $10 per ton, which would be higher than most of its neighbors but still well below the level believed necessary to contain climate change.

Environment Minister Chang Tzi-chin said it was possible the government could set the levy -- described by Taiwan as a carbon fee -- at NT$300 ($9.54) per ton of emissions in response to questions from lawmakers on Wednesday. Chang cautioned the final price would only be set after revisions to the climate change act and consultation with key industries.

With new climate-change legislation working its way through the legislature, Taiwan is set to join a growing number of governments around Asia that are putting prices on carbon in an effort to meet net-zero emissions targets by the middle of the century. The island’s tax would be below South Korea’s, but significantly higher than similar levies in Japan and Singapore.

Almost 50 countries worldwide are now pricing carbon through trading schemes or taxes, covering around a third of emissions, according to the International Monetary Fund. The average price of a ton of carbon-dioxide equivalent needs to be around $75 by 2030 to effectively limit global warming, but the current level is $6, the lender said.