"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-read stories from around the web. This morning we're reading about a number of changes on carbon emission and air pollution regulations.
1.) China to implement carbon tax before 2015. The largest energy-consuming companies currently active in China may have to prepare for new direct taxation based on carbon dioxide emissions by 2015, according to government sources. The proposals have already been submitted for review by the Ministry of Finance. The proposed changes include setting up independent taxation on greenhouse gas emissions -- focusing on coal, crude oil and gas consumers. Economic instability has delayed the launch of this program.
2.) The 'invisible crisis' of London's air pollution. Owners of heavily polluting vehicles will either have to drive something 'cleaner' or pay a daily fine of £100 ($156) every time they use the capital's roads in phases 3 and 4 of Mayor Boris Johnson's LEZ programme.
The low emission zone (LEZ) changes due in 2012 will have a number of consequences for businesses. Ignore the LEZ and you will have to pay an immediate fine of £250 ($390). Iconic London black cabs are expected to be hit -- with any vehicle over 15 years old unlikely to be able to renew their license.
3.) Lufthansa fares increase to cover carbon costs. German airline Lufthansa will be raising prices for customers using Europe-Germany flight routes. A new European Union directive that was implemented on Sunday is being blamed for the rise in ticket costs. The EU will be monitoring carbon emissions from all flights and imposing a consequential levy on airlines. Lufthansa expects to incur an additional €130 million ($168 million) burden in costs over 2012.
4.) Vietnam imposes a new emissions testing fee on vehicle manufacturers. From February 15, motor vehicle manufacturers and importers will have to pay a new 'emissions testing fee'. The aim of this is to reduce air pollution, and vehicles will be tested under European emission standards. The price manufacturers and importers will have to prepare for fees between VND700,000 ($34) to VND110.2 million ($5,250) dependent upon make and model.
5.) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency delays regulations on air pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been forced to delay implementing regulations on interstate air pollution planned for this month. A federal court ruled in the favor of electric power producers, citing 'undue financial burdens' which may cause corporations to close. The new Cross-state Air Pollution Rule puts plants under emissions scrutiny -- ruling that plants in 27 states must introduce measures to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide production.
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