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.

Chapter 1: Conspectus

Richard Cullen and Yan Xu

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


Richard Cullen and Yan Xu1 INTRODUCTION Expectations were high with respect to the COP15, Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen in December, 2009.2 Many hoped that it might resolve a number of the varied problems associated with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol (COP3). The Kyoto Protocol was 1 For the purposes of this book (and the conference on which it is based), we have used the term green taxation as a shorthand expression to include: taxes, fees and charges – similar to traditional taxes, fees and charges – which are directed (at least in part) at generating improved environmental outcomes (some chapter authors have used slightly modified versions of this terminology). By East Asia we mean that part of Asia including China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia – but not including the nations of the former USSR, the Middle East and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and adjacent smaller States). We have concentrated on particular key jurisdictions in East Asia for this book: China, Hong Kong and Singapore. China due to its combination of extraordinary size and even more extraordinary, long-term economic development is self-evidently crucial in any discussion such as this. Hong Kong and Singapore provide examples of highly developed jurisdictions in East Asia which both face major environmental challenges. Each of them has, in its way (and for various reasons, not least, ethnic linkages and economic investment), been deeply influential in shaping aspects of development policy in Mainland China over several decades. (Limitations of space meant...