David Blackburn

Paying for a climate change deal

Paying for a climate change deal
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Oh dear Lord. Flushed with recent success, Gordon Brown plans to take the class war global. The Independent reports that Brown and Sarkozy have backed an Ethiopian plan to assist poor nations adapt to a carbon neutral global economy by raising £100bn per annum through a tax on financial transactions. For Mr Brown, a Tobin tax is the answer to everything, regardless of the fact that it would impale Britain’s prosperity.

How to pay for a climate change deal is a somewhat superfluous question, as at the moment such a contigency is remote. But at some stage in the future, either as a result of climate change or the end of comparatively cheap fossil fuels, an enormous fund will be required to ensure that developing nations can construct alternative energy sources and maintain their growth. The Stern review’s recommendations and Ethiopia's latest fling with Marxism will impede global growth, with catastrophic humanitarian consequences for the developing world. To sustain global growth, this fund has to be raised from existing aid packages, and it must be free from administrative venality - the developing world has its responsibilities as much we do.