As board of Green Climate Fund meet come renewed calls for a Robin Hood Tax | National Union of Public and General Employees

As board of Green Climate Fund meet come renewed calls for a Robin Hood Tax

“There are many ongoing discussions on very promising sources of funds, like a financial transaction tax, which is also called the Robin Hood Tax,” Karen Orenstein, Friends of the Earth.

Geneva (23 Aug. 2012) - As the board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) commences its first meeting the first item of discussion is how to raise the needed funds to assist developing nations adapt to climate change.

Advocates for a Financial Transactions Tax, commonly referred to as the Robin Hood Tax, say that such a measure would make a huge difference for the fund.  The National Union of Public and General Employees is a leader in the Canadian campaign for a Robin Hood Tax as a measure to assist in the fight against climate change. 

The GCF was officially launched at the 2011 Climate Change Conference and it is hoped that it will raise billions of dollars.

“The timing really couldn’t be more urgent,” said Brandon Wu, senior policy analyst at ActionAid USA.

“Just one climate related disaster last year - the floods in Bangkok – cost 40 billion dollars, according to U.N. estimates. And then of course the human suffering that goes with disasters like those that doesn’t really have a price tag,” he said.

He described the GCF as “a channel through which finance can be equitably distributed to developing countries.” Organizers hope to raise 100 billion dollars a year by 2020.

Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth worries that some potential donors view the fund differently than civil society and humanitarian groups.

“The U.S., the U.K. and some other particularly developed countries have placed a great emphasis on the GCF being a means to attract as much private sector [funding] as possible.”

“This is very worrying. Many of the activities that the GCF will need to fund, in particular adaptation and even some mitigation activities, are not going to turn a profit. And thus are not going to be attractive to the private sector,” she said.

“Many organizations are urging countries that have in the past contributed to the World Bank’s climate investment funds to instead direct money to the Green Climate Fund. And of course there are many ongoing discussions on very promising sources of funds, like a financial transaction tax, which is also called the Robin Hood Tax,” she said.

Supporters have said a small tax on financial transactions, for example on Wall Street, could raise billions of dollars.

The Green Climate Fund Board has 24 members with an equal number from developed and developing countries.

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