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UN calls on Africa to introduce eco taxes

Tuesday, 10 March 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Lorys Charalambous
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Author: Lorys Charalambous (, Cyprus)

The United Nations has released a new report, Africa's Adaption Gap, which recommends that African countries begin to introduce environmental levies to contribute to global climate change efforts.

The report was released at the 15th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). It follows on from the UN Environment Program's Global Adaptation Gap Report 2014, which found that the cost of introducing the changes needed in developing countries to reduce emissions could be as high as USD250-500bn per year by 2050.

The report warns that African countries are particularly exposed to potential infrastructure damage from global warming and that an ambitious program of damage limitation will be needed. It says that "given the increasing severity of the adaptation challenge posed by climate change to Africa, no stone should be left unturned in looking for solutions for closing the adaptation gap."

It says that Africa will not be able to depend solely on global contributions to meet this cost, and governments need to consider revenue-raising methods. The report considers four potential options, including new levies on either the mining sector, on financial transactions, trade, or tourism.

The report stresses the urgency of early action by the nations concerned, noting that global warming is progressing more rapidly than previously projected. It states that "even if such regional revenues were generated by the application of these levies, adaptation costs would exceed the revenue generation capacity as early as 2020."

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