The UN has never met a problem it couldn’t tackle without calling for a new tax. Over-dependence on fossil fuel? There’s a tax for that. Inequitable distribution of global wealth? There’s a tax for that. Climbing obesity rates due to our fondness for junk food? There’s tax for that, too.
Now the UN has decided such piecemeal slugs aren’t enough to underwrite its grand plans to save the world from itself. So hide your wallet. The UN wants all you’ve got and then some.
A new report released Wednesday proposes a sweeping new raft of international taxes that could net the UN and its mendicant agencies an estimated US$13 billion annually and enable it to do what it thinks it does best: telling the rest of us how to live our lives.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which commissioned the study, says innovative revenue streams underline the call to seal an ambitious climate change deal in Paris later this year.
“The best insurance against the many potential negative impacts of climate change is ambitious global mitigation action in the long-run, combined with large-scale and rapidly increasing funding for adaptation,” UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said in Cairo.
He was speaking at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment.
The key words there are “large-scale and rapidly increasing funding for adaptation.” That’s UN code for “hey, we’re running out of money here, so let’s come up with a new way to slug everyone else.”
The idea is a global levy on mining industries, financial and banking transactions, international trade and transportation and tourism, which could net an estimated $US13 billion a year by 2030.
The UNEP report is clear about its demand for more of the folding stuff.
“Since it is in countries’ own direct interest to address the profound harm that climate change may cause to their economic development prospects, it is also in their interests to leave no stone unturned in exploring opportunities for financing adaptation that are within their own sovereign realm,” they write.
“Besides, international climate finance is unlikely, by itself, to be able to meet the whole bill for adaptation.”
We have been down this road to economic suicide before.
In mid-2014 leaders in France and Germany proposed the EU adopt a transaction or so-called “Robin Hood” tax of its own.
The plan collapsed in the face of internal bickering and vehement opposition from the UK. Then in January the French government capitulated and said it planned to re-open talks as soon as possible.
Good luck with that.
Of more immediate concern is the December convening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, in Paris. Warming dogmatists seek, no, they demand, a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change with fixed, binding global payments and wealth transference from developed countries to those it deems most in need.
If all that doesn’t make your hair stand on end, then you are using a particularly strong form of hair product.
Thankfully the biggest stumbling block to the desire for broader international imposts is the inability of countries to agree on what to tax, where to tax it, how to collect it and how the UN will receive the money.