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An accumulation of taxes is not an environmental policy


In the space of a few decades, humanity has done more damage to the natural environment than in the preceding two millennia. If one agrees with the COPs’ postulate that climate change is incumbent upon us as well, it seems like a rationalization of free trade might be more efficient than carbon taxes or energy transition.

The latter’s impact is essentially on the tail end of the chain: the budget of drivers who want little more than to be able to go to work; moderate-income households that consume the disposable – and endlessly renewed – products that globalization pours into their shopping basket; fuel bills for people who can’t always afford to heat their homes properly in winter; and the bottom line of the last manufacturers in developed nations, who will wind up relocating production of consumer goods to countries that don’t apply a carbon tax… thereby increasing the emission of carbon and other toxic gases due to transportation.

Piling on taxes and ineffective environmental regulations, avoiding global economic considerations and attempting to arbitrate responsibilities and duties for each country according to criteria that are more dogmatic than pragmatic displays profound cynicism and may seem like a kind of fiscal racketeering… more importantly, they do not a real, effective environmental policy make.

The most-recent COPs have requested annual funding of $100 billion, which will supposedly enable actions in favor of slowing down global warming. At the One Planet Summit, the European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis upped the ante even more: “to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius,” he declared, “Europe needs an estimated €180 billion in additional yearly investment over the next decade.” That program, which strings together new fiscal measures in favor of the climate, and the flourishing green-bond market might strike tax-payers as example of wild over-financialization, leading to the risk of a "green bubble” rather than a concrete, concerted effort to protect the environment. 

Francis JOURNOT -  "International Convention for a Global Minimum Wage" 

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