Bank Tax, CO2 Auctions Recommended by Soros Panel to Help Climate Efforts

At least $65 billion might be raised by taxing foreign-exchange transactions and auctioning pollution permits, a United Nations panel said today in a report recommending ways to finance aid for fighting global warming.

The panel, which includes billionaire investor George Soros and Larry Summers, director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, said selling carbon-emissions permits would generate $38 billion and a financial transactions tax an additional $27 billion, according to the report released today.

The findings are intended to guide envoys at UN climate talks that start this month in Mexico as they seek ways to pay for $100 billion in climate aid that was pledged by 2020 to poor nations at last year’s summit in Copenhagen. The report found that the goal is “challenging but feasible” to achieve.

“Without agreement on finance, we will not be able to reach agreement on other issues for climate change,” Jens Stoltenberg, Norway’s prime minister and co-chairman of the advisory group, said at a press conference in New York. “Now we need the political will to take the decisions.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed the panel, called the High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, in February. It’s led by Stoltenberg and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The 21-member group also includes Soros, Summers and Deutsche Bank AG Vice Chairman Caio Koch- Weser.

The report didn’t specify what financial transactions would be covered by the tax beyond saying the focus would be on international currency sales.

‘Court Of Government’

“The ball is really now in the court of governments to move forward on generating these resources,” David Waskow, senior adviser on climate finance for the development charity Oxfam International, said in a telephone interview from Washington. “One can raise substantial public finance from public sources and do it in a way that’s not going to place additional pressure on national budgets and taxpayers.”

The findings would add to the weight behind calls for a tax on financial speculation, sometimes termed a Tobin tax after James Tobin, the Nobel Prize-winning U.S. economist who first suggested the idea in 1971.

Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and labor groups including the U.K. Trades Union Congress have supported the idea. President Barack Obama’s administration opposes it. A tax of 0.05 percent on financial transactions may raise as much as $700 billion a year, according to WWF, a Washington-based global environmental activist group.

A financial transactions tax would be “difficult to implement universally” and therefore “only feasible to implement among interested countries,” the panel said in its report.

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I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

1 Comment

  1. Brian

    November 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Where in our government is the door open for such a measure to be levied against the American people…in the US Senate, the entity responsible for ratifying a potential treaty Obama may sign.

    So this is why it is so important to repeal the 17th Amendment and return the states rightful place in the Federal Government and Congress. With the 100 we have today, only a handful would vote down global taxation, while the rest would eagerly lap it up.

    The cancer in our government is the 17th Amendment. Repeal the 17th and checks and balances return, and so does the 9th and 10th Amendments.

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