Singapore wants to tax firms for carbon emissions

Large emitters could be charged $10-20 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Singapore government plans to implement a carbon tax of between $10 and $20 per tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2019, through the proposed Carbon Pricing Bill.

According to the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), the carbon tax will be applied upstream on large emitters, such as power stations and other large industrial facilities that directly emit GHGs.

"A carbon tax will put in place a price signal to incentivise emitters to reduce their emissions while giving them the flexibility to take action where it makes the most economic sense," MEWR said.

Currently, the public consultations for the policy are open until 8 December 2017.

The carbon tax will take the form of a fixed-price credits-based (FPCB) mechanism.

Taxable facilities will pay the tax by purchasing and surrendering the number of carbon credits corresponding to their GHG emissions.

These carbon credits will be issued by National Environment Agency (NEA) at a fixed price. The price level would be determined closer to the implementation date.

The bill will set out the overall carbon tax framework and obligations for large GHG emitters, including the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements.

Under the bill, the NEA will have the powers to make and amend related regulations for matters such as the MRV requirements for affected facilities.

The bill will require facilities to be classified as either reportable or taxable. MEWR said the corporation must have operational control over the GHG-emitting business activity or activities at a single site.

Facilities that have emitted equal to or more than 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (tCO2e) of GHG emissions will be considered reportable facilities. They will be required to register, monitor, and submit reports of their GHG emissions.

Meanwhile, taxable facilities are defined as those that have emitted equal to or more than 25,000 tCO2e of GHG emissions. They will also be required to do the same, in addition to the creation of a monitoring plan and tax payment. 

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