Europeans Push Global Tax to Fund Poverty-Reduction, Climate Change Causes

Patrick Goodenough

A group of 60 nations will meet next week at the United Nations to push for a tax on foreign currency transactions as a way to generate revenue to meet global poverty-reduction goals, including “climate change” mitigation.
Spearheaded by European Union countries, the so-called “innovative financing” proposal envisages a tax of 0.005 percent (five cents per $1,000), which experts estimate could produce more than $30 billion a year worldwide for priority causes.
World leaders are scheduled to hold a Sept. 21-23 summit at U.N. headquarters to review progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight specific targets to cut poverty and disease by 2015, in line with a pledge taken by U.N. member states in 2000.

The Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development, comprising 60 countries – the United States is not a member – as well as 15 international institutions and several dozen non-governmental organizations (NGOs), sees the event as a crucial opportunity to promote the tax proposal, and it will meet on the summit sidelines next Tuesday.

“With the [MDG] deadline now five years away, we must be both clear and realistic as regards the mixed results of the progress achieved and the scale of the challenges to be met by 2015 and strongly optimistic in the international community’s ability to work together to achieve the MDGs,” the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development (LGFD) said in a statement.
The summit “is a great opportunity to develop the current and potential role of innovative financing for development in the achievement of the MDGs and make the entire international community aware of the Leading Group’s recommendations.”

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