Commentary

Friends of the Earth: Robin Hood Tax Legislation Introduced, Could Generate Billions of Dollars to Fight Climate Change


WASHINGTON, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—March 19, 2015. Today Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) re-introduced the Inclusive Prosperity Act, legislation that would establish a Robin Hood Tax — also known as a Wall Street Tax — by placing a miniscule fee on financial transactions. The tax would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue annually for critical needs such as healthcare, education, job creation and the international fight against HIV/AIDS and climate change.

Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth U.S., said:

Friends of the Earth U.S. wholeheartedly endorses the Inclusive Prosperity Act and urges its passage into law. By making Wall Street pay its fair share, this legislation would help shore up funding for public goods and services that keep people and our communities healthy and whole, at home and around the world.

As the Inclusive Prosperity Act demonstrates, there is not actually a scarcity of public funds for global public goods; it is a question of political will. Trillions of dollars have been rapidly made available to pay for wars and Wall Street bailouts, but what about the climate crisis?

More about a tax on Wall Street:

At no more than half-a-penny per transaction, a Wall Street tax is a micro-tax on financial trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial instruments — most of which are traded not by people, but by computers in a matter of micro-seconds. The tax would curb harmful speculation and raise hundreds of billions of dollars of new revenue. Eleven European countries are in the process of setting up a regional financial transaction tax.

The role of a Wall Street tax in international climate talks:

Though they have done little, and in some cases nothing at all, to cause the climate crisis, poor countries are the ones left footing a very expensive bill to deal with its fallout — a bill paid not only in money, but in lives lost and livelihoods destroyed.

The Inclusive Prosperity Act recognizes the enormous human and economic toll that climate change will take in the United States and in developing countries. It opens the door for a portion of this extremely promising, untapped revenue source to be used for “climate finance” – funds to help the world’s poor confront the climate crisis.

Developed countries will need to commit adequate sums of climate finance in order for major climate negotiations in Paris (at the end of 2015) to succeed. France has advocated for a portion of the revenue generated by the European FTT to help developing countries deal with climate disruption, and Friends of the Earth U.S. has called on the U.S. government to do the same.

Source: www.foe.org


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