With its successful pursuit of carbon emissions trading, China proves environmentalism need not be a non-profit venture, but the approach isn’t all blue skies. From Dow Jones:
Chinese corporations and the government, through tax receipts, are major beneficiaries of the new system of trading in global carbon credits, according to a media report.
The nation has become the world’s largest source of developing-world carbon credits purchased by Western firms, The Wall Street Journal Online (subscription required) reported, citing estimates from the World Bank.
China’s rise as a leading player in the field has been facilitated by a selective tax and corporate-regulation policy. That policy has drawn fire from critics who say it reflects an attempt to cash on the lucrative new trade, according to the Journal. [Full Text]
A significant chunk of the government’s carbon-related tax revenue appears to have come from a recent deal between the World Bank’s Umbrella Carbon Facility and two Chinese chemical plants that was worth nearly a billion dollars (supposedly the largest such exchange in the short history of carbon trading). See the World Bank announcement (pdf), in which the bank also says it signed an MoU with the government that all carbon-related revenues “will be used to support sustainable development activities.”