Tuesday, 07 December 2010

UN Continues Push for Global Carbon Tax at Climate Confab

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Is a global "carbon tax" still in the works, even though political support, as well as scientific support, has been steadily plummeting for legislative and regulatory regimes aimed at dealing with global warming?

The failure to produce a binding agreement at last year's United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen has led many observers to view the current summit in Cancun, Mexico, as an anti-climactic event that is unlikely to produce anything of substance. However, Cathie Adams, who is in Cancun covering the conference, reports that many of the official delegates and non-governmental organization (NGO) activists there are pushing ahead with plans for global taxation. Adams, who has covered many UN summits over the years as a reporter for USA Radio Network, has posted a series of daily reports here providing information and perspective not available through most of the major media coverage.

In her December 2 report, "Global Taxation Being Discussed at the UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico," Adams reminds readers:

Last year in Copenhagen, President Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the UNFCCC COP 15 to commit $30 billion to a new Fast Start fund by 2012 with a follow-up goal to raise $100 billion annually from developed nations for a new Green Fund by 2020.

One year later in Cancun, the U.N. is prodding nations to create the infrastructure for the new Green Fund that would not be limited to $100 billion.

Adams further notes:

Panelists from the Climate Action Network on Wednesday revealed that nations are discussing new taxes either on international monetary transactions or preferably on international shipping and aviation.

The U.N. does not currently have the authority to tax, but it is guiding negotiations to accept "monitoring, reporting and verification" from some taxing authority for money received from the new Green Fund. The new tax assessor-collector could possibly be the International Maritime Organization, which is a U.N. affiliate.

Soros Green for the Green Lobby
Enter George Soros, billionaire green activist and champion of global government. Soros was among the elite glamour contingent that swarmed into Copenhagen on private luxury jets last December and debarked from stretch limos at the climate conference to deliver harangues calling for the peoples of the developed countries to sacrifice, change their lifestyles, and decrease their consumption in order to save Mother Earth. Soros was appointed to the UN's High Level Advisory Group on Climate Finance, which was tasked with coming up with the ways and means for reaching "the goal of mobilizing US$100 billion annually for climate actions in developing countries by 2020."

The Advisory Group issued its report on November 5, 2010, just a little more than three weeks before the start of the Cancun conference. Among the proposals put forward by group are taxes on aviation jet fuel, airline passenger tickets, and "bunker fuel," the heavy diesel fuel used by maritime shippers. The report states:

Revenues generated from taxes on international aviation and shipping: this would either involve some levy on maritime bunker/aviation jet fuels for international voyages or a separate emissions trading scheme for these activities, or a levy on passenger tickets of international flights;

Revenues from carbon taxes: this is based on a tax on carbon emissions in developed countries raised on a per-ton-emitted basis;

But in the current economic recession, and with a new U.S. Congress recently chastened by voters angry over huge deficits and wild spending, can the climate activists truly expect to win approval of any kind of carbon tax? Apparently so; it seems the tax on "bunker fuel" is one of the most popular proposals, perhaps because it affects the 90 percent of world trade that moves via maritime shipping and could raise hundreds of billions of dollars. However, consumers who ultimately would pay the tax passed along by shippers would be less likely to revolt against this kind of indirect tax spread invisibly over virtually everything they consume, as opposed to an income tax hike or an additional sales tax at the supermarket or gas pump.

The UN Advisory Group also came up with revenue-sharing incentives for national governments to sign on to the new taxes. The report states:

It is likely that part of the revenues collected by Governments through the measures examined by the Advisory Group will be retained for domestic use, and that only a portion of them will be dedicated to international climate action.

The Advisory Group undoubtedly hopes that in the current era of national budget crises many legislators may be willing to back the UN tax proposals in the expectation of generating maximum revenue gain while at the same time receiving minimum taxpayer blame.

Cathie Adams notes that Advisory Group member George Soros co-wrote an op-ed that appeared in hundreds of newspapers and online portals worldwide just prior to the Cancun summit:

Project Syndicate reports that George Soros has also weighed in on the new Green Fund. He claims an urgent need to mobilize money to fill the vacuum between Copenhagen's Fast Track fund and the new Green Fund. He likes a carbon tax of $25 per ton, but acknowledges that the will is not there to establish it. He also suggests involvement by multilateral development banks offering climate-related financing as well as programs to enhance investments in renewable energy.

Project Syndicate says its membership includes "446 leading newspapers in 150 countries. Financial contributions from member papers in advanced countries support the services provided by Project Syndicate free of charge or at reduced rates to members in developing countries. Additional support comes from the Open Society Institute."

The Open Society Institute, of course, is one of the main funnels through which George Soros funds his radical agenda around the world. Among the notable internationalists writing for Project Syndicate are former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev; UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; former German Foreign Minister (and violent street thug and Baader Meinhoff terrorist group supporter) Joschka Fischer; Mexican Marxist Jorge Castaneda; Spanish Socialist and European Union politician Javier Solana; Emma Bonino of Italy's Transnational Radical Party; United Nations panjandrum Shashi Tharoor; and Socialist International economist Joseph Stiglitz.

The lineup of American writers at Project Syndicate indicates that it is, essentially, yet another transmission belt for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the world-government promoting organization that runs the Republican-Democrat political duopoly that has been leading the United States since the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. Prominent CFR members writing for Project Syndicate include, in addition to George Soros, Richard Haass, Joseph S. Nye, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Holbrooke, Jeffrey Sachs, Jimmy Carter, Kenneth Rogoff, Barry Eichengreen, Joseph Stiglitz, and Esther Dyson. The CFR has been a primary driver of the global-warming lobby for the past three decades, and its members and publications have been key promoters of carbon tax, carbon credit, and carbon cap-and-trade schemes.

The Economist, which reliably hymns the same globalist tunes as the CFR thought cartel, remains a fervent backer of global-warming legislation, regulation, and taxation proposals, despite the crumbling public and scientific support for these nostrums. Following the 2009 Copenhagen summit, The Economist offered solace to climate activists despondent over the failure of the confab to produce a binding global agreement. In an article entitled "Climate change: Planet B How the underwhelming Copenhagen accord could yet turn into a useful document," the magazine argued that "the Copenhagen accord is not the disaster that it at first appears. On two issues in particular the Copenhagen conference may yet mark the beginning of a new way forward."

One of those issues involves closing the split between the developed and developing countries, a key matter on which the conference foundered. "Yet the Copenhagen accord makes some progress towards closing this split," notes The Economist. "Developing, as well as developed, countries signed up to it, and have agreed to an international role in monitoring any cuts they commit themselves to. That is a crucial concession."

"The second reason for hope," says The Economist, "is that Copenhagen's failure may have encouraged the development of political structures better suited to the challenge." It has led negotiators toward an a la carte approach in which various components of the UN's global-warming agenda will be dealt with piecemeal, rather than in one grandiose agreement. The Economist opined:

But global negotiations will need to continue and the participants need to learn one useful lesson from Copenhagen. Climate change is too big a problem to be swallowed in a single bite. Smaller groups, dealing with more manageable-sized chunks, have a better chance.

One of the specific targets mentioned by the magazine as an achievable piecemeal goal is "stemming emissions from shipping."

According to Cathie Adams, the United Nations officials and the militant environmental NGOs have been working hand in hand at Cancun to craft a new global tax plan centered on shipping.

"In the Climate Action Network and other NGO gatherings, as well as the official program, the constant theme is the absolute necessity of setting up a new 'infrastructure' to deal with this issue of collecting and allocating the taxes they intend to levy," she told The New American in a telephone interview from Cancun. "They are saying 'end the negotiations, just set up the infrastructure.' So that when the $30 billion promised by President Obama starts flowing in, they can use it to help get the tax schemes going that will guarantee a continuous future revenue stream of hundreds of billions of dollars. George Soros said that there is probably not the political will to get the developed nations to accept a financial transaction tax which has been a favorite globalist plan so the most likely prospect for a global tax is the levy on global shipping and air traffic."

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