Green Taxation in East Asia

Green Taxation in East Asia

Edited by Richard Cullen, Jefferson VanderWolk and Yan Xu

The core concern of this book is the potential use of taxation and related measures to foster climate-helpful, large-scale change within East Asia. The contributing authors examine key issues such as how Greater China, for instance, confronts severe environmental problems which are a direct product of several decades of remarkable economic growth. The detailed analysis in this book identifies a range of green taxation guidelines for East Asia as it seeks to drive down striking levels of environmental degradation – and tackle the climate change challenge.

Foreword

Christine Loh

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, economics and finance, environmental economics, public finance, environment, asian environment, environmental economics, environmental law, law - academic, asian law, energy law, environmental law

Extract

Christine Loh Human activities are putting pressures on Planet Earth on such a scale that there could be abrupt global environmental change. Scientists have proposed a new approach to global sustainability by identifying and defining “planetary boundaries” within which humanity can operate safely. Nine planetary boundaries have been identified: climate change; ocean acidification; stratospheric ozone; biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and phosphorus cycle; global freshwater use; land system change; loss of biological diversity; chemical pollution; and atmospheric aerosol loading. The scientists observed that humanity has probably already transgressed three of these planetary boundaries: climate change, biodiversity loss, and changes to the global nitrogen cycle.1 Moreover, the scientists noted that these systems are interdependent in the sense that Planet Earth’s various systems function as a whole. They put forward the hypothesis that transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may tip Planet Earth into a state which could trigger nonlinear, abrupt environmental change within continental-to planetary-scale systems. Moreover, because of the interdependence of these systems, transgressing one may shift the position of, or result in transgressing, other boundaries. The scientists emphasized that changes to Planet Earth’s functioning system do not mean that the planet will not survive – it will, but in another state, but humans are the ones who will be affected. The social impact of transgressing planetary boundaries will depend on the socialecological resilience of the affected societies.2 Humans are thus part of a complex web of relationships involving Planet Earth, without which we cannot exist. It is simply not possible to maintain...