On Monday, November 8th, CPDE participated in the COP26 People’s Summit event in Glasgow, Tax the Rich, Save the Planet. The event was organised with the purpose of calling for a global tax and economic system that delivers equity and makes reparation for the exploitation of people and the planet.
Inspired by the biblical figure Zacchaeus, a chief tax-collector in Jericho who was morally transformed by the guidance of Jesus to give away half of all he possessed, the event mostly featured interventions by faith-based leaders critical of the deeply unequal neoliberal economic system.
Reparations were central to the discussion. Priya Lukka, an economist in international development at Goldsmiths University in London, stressed the importance of decolonizing the global financial system and posed the question on the ethos of reparation – how to dismantle the current financial system that produces billionaires. She suggested the implementation of a financial transactions tax and debt cancellation for countries of the global south.
Mariana Paoli, Global Advocacy Lead at Christian Aid, shed light on the concept of a climate damage tax that follows a ‘polluter pays’ principle, in other words, the world’s largest polluting entities should have to pay the highest damage tax to fund climate adaptation in the worst-affected and most vulnerable regions.
Reverend David Haslam of the Church Action on Tax Justice strongly advocated for a wealth tax to provide substantial funds for climate finance, citing The Tax Justice Network that estimates 30% of the world’s GDP goes to tax havens (between $21 and $32 trillion).
Glenis Balangue, CPDE’s head of Capacity Development spoke on the need to uphold the effectiveness agenda in the conversation. She outlined CPDE’s efforts in calling for effectiveness in climate finance, which not only regards how money is spent but also how money is generated. Glenis closed her remarks by raising the question on the possibility of engaging the OECD in relation to its new deal of a 15% minimum corporate income tax on the issue of progressive taxation and climate reparations.
The CPDE Task Force on Effectiveness in Climate Finance is composed of member organisations that work with interested civil society organisation (CSO) allies to articulate the linkages between effective development cooperation (EDC) and climate finance from a civil society perspective.
CPDE is still participating in more Southern-led actions at COP26. Follow us here and on social media for more updates.#