Global Taxation Being Discussed at the UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico
Last year in Copenhagen, President Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the UNFCCC COP 15 to commit $30 billion to a new Fast Start fund by 2012 with a follow-up goal to raise $100 billion annually from developed nations for a new Green Fund by 2020.
One year later in Cancun, the U.N. is prodding nations to create the infrastructure for the new Green Fund that would not be limited to $100 billion. The U.N. is not letting American preconditions that developing nations, especially China and India, “accept binding commitments that are open to international inspection and verification,” get in the way of their goal for global taxation free from meddling by the Americans.
Panelists from the Climate Action Network on Wednesday revealed that nations are discussing new taxes either on international monetary transactions or preferably on international shipping and aviation.
The U.N. does not currently have the authority to tax, but it is guiding negotiations to accept “monitoring, reporting and verification” from some taxing authority for money received from the new Green Fund. The new tax assessor-collector could possibly be the International Maritime Organization, which is a U.N. affiliate.
A conference magazine entitled Outreach, a Multi-Stakeholder Magazine on Environment and Sustainable Development, raises several questions about the new Green Fund that are obviously intended to guide convention delegate discussions:
- Where does the money come from? How much from public and how much from private sources?
- Who will govern those funds? A new bureaucracy within the U.N. or the World Bank or another entity?
- What is “climate finance?” How will it be monitored, reported and verified?
- Through what channels will the funds flow? The same channels as the Fast Start fund or will there be new bilateral or multilateral channels?
- Who decides for what purposes and in which countries climate finance is used?
Project Syndicate reports that George Soros has also weighed in on the new Green Fund. He claims an urgent need to mobilize money to fill the vacuum between Copenhagen’s Fast Track fund and the new Green Fund. He likes a carbon tax of $25 per ton, but acknowledges that the will is not there to establish it. He also suggests involvement by multilateral development banks offering climate-related financing as well as programs to enhance investments in renewable energy.
Calls for global taxation is not new within the U.N. system, but building an infrastructure for a global tax is new. We watch as the debate progresses through December 10.