France pushes for Tobin
France wants financial tax in climate accord
France is pushing for a political agreement at the climate conference in Copenhagen to include a tax on financial transactions to help developing countries, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says.
Kouchner says a very small tax — 0.005 percent on financial transactions — would help developing countries fight poverty, promote education and health, and meet the costs of combatting climate change.
Such a tax on all financial movements would be „impossible to feel,“ he says, explaining that it produces just 5 cents „on a movement of a thousand dollars, a thousand euros.“
Kouchner says that France has been working on the tax idea for a year and hosted a conference in Paris in October with 59 countries as well as financial and economic experts to put together a proposal.
He concedes there is some opposition, even in liberal countries, but he predicts „all the people of the world will accept this kind of contribution.“
„It will be done, believe me, it will be done. I don’t know when. But I know that we (have) to rebalance the responsibility and the sufferings in this world,“ Kouchner says. „If it comes through this conference (in Copenhagen) it will be a big, big, big, big benefit.“
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expresses hope that the French proposal „will be discussed in Copenhagen as a way to generate financial support in addition to public fundings to be provided by the governments.“
The secretary-general says that with 105 world leaders expected on Dec. 18, there is momentum to reach a strong political agreement in Copenhagen.
„The more ambitious, the stronger agreement we have in Copenhagen, the easier, the quicker the process we will have to a legally binding treaty in 2010, as early as possible,“ Ban says.