HomePOPULARSri Lankan President Calls for 10% Levy on Global Tax Evasion to...

Sri Lankan President Calls for 10% Levy on Global Tax Evasion to Fund Climate Change

Bali, Indonesia, May 20, 2024 – Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia, sharply criticized the Global North for its lack of commitment to funding climate change mitigation efforts. He highlighted the disparity between the swift financial support for the war in Ukraine and the reluctance to fund measures aimed at preventing the death and destruction caused by climate change.

“The Global North is willing to fund death and destruction in Ukraine, but there is an unwillingness to fund measures to avoid death and destruction caused by climate change,” President Wickremesinghe stated, according to a statement from his office.

As a potential solution, the President proposed a 10 percent levy on the annual profits of assets deposited in tax havens by those evading taxes. These profits are estimated to total around $1.4 trillion annually. The funds generated from this levy would be directed towards climate change initiatives.

This proposal comes in the wake of the long-delayed funding commitments from the Conference of Parties (COP) held in Glasgow in 2021. Wickremesinghe emphasized the need for tangible actions over mere discussions at international climate summits.

Earlier in May, President Wickremesinghe expressed his frustration at a forum in Colombo, warning that Sri Lanka might withdraw from future COP meetings if there continues to be a lack of unified and effective solutions to tackle climate change.

“The global community has still not been able to come together on an agreement on how we are to deal with the challenges. From COP meeting to COP meeting, we have gone there, and there is a lot of talk. But unfortunately, there has been no agreement,” he said at the Code Red climate summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

“I don’t think we can go on and on meeting like this. In the next two meetings, either we must come to some agreement or give this up. That’s what Sri Lanka plans to tell the COP.”

Sri Lanka is one of the countries most at risk from extreme weather events, consistently ranking in the top ten of the Global Climate Risk Index. President Wickremesinghe’s call for a global tax levy aims to address the urgent need for climate change funding and reflects the frustration of many nations vulnerable to climate impacts.

Read Now:Disparities in Access to Water Resources Threaten Global Prosperity: World Bank Report

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