China’s highest legislative body rolled out a new #Environment tax targeting companies that emit a variety of air pollutants, yet they declined to list carbon dioxide. The new law comes after 20 cities were left under a blanket of smoke and fog (smog) last week. The new law taxes any company that pollutes the air and water or contributes to noise pollution.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) committee, which passed the law, will tax man-made emissions like sulfite and sulfur dioxide. Taxes start at $0.20 per unit and $0.17 per unit respectively. For noise pollution, the new law can tax a manufacturer from $50 to $1,612. CO2, however, gets a free pass.

Smog chokes China cities for fourth day of ‘airpocalypse’, grounding flights and closing roads 

 Reliance on coal

Despite China’s ratifying and signing the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls for a reduction in CO2 emissions to slow #Climate Change, the NPC has chosen to exclude CO2 from its list of known pollutants. For CO2 to be considered harmful, it would need to be at levels 125 times higher than today’s levels. China relies heavily on coal to produce electricity for much of its population.

In the U.S., CO2 was classified a pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under its former head Lisa Jackson. Once classified as an environmental hazard, the current EPA head Gina McCarthy could roll out regulations under the Clean Power Plan. All that could change with the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA.

Is CO2 a pollutant?

Though many scientists dispute CO2 is a pollutant, others consider it a major contributor to any increase in world temperatures; it is a colorless, odorless gas and is chemically non-reactive. At 400 parts