Global Policy Forum

Global Taxes


Global taxes can address serious global problems while at the same time raising revenue for development. A tax on carbon emissions could help slow global climate change, while a tax on currency trading could dampen dangerous instability in the foreign exchange markets. The revenue from these taxes could support major programs to reduce poverty and hunger, ensure primary schooling for all children, and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases. Unreliable donations from rich countries will not fill this need, estimated by the UN to cost tens of billions per year. A global system of revenue-raising must be put in place to fund genuinely international initiatives.

Picture Credit: F.

While proposals for global taxes have met fierce opposition from the US government, more and more politicians, scholars, international organizations and NGOs support the idea. In 2004, the presidents of Brazil, France and Chile launched an initiative to promote international taxes to finance development. Since then, the leaders of Spain, Germany, Algeria and South Africa have joined the process. This and other recent proposals have focused on the revenue side of global taxes, disregarding their role as policy shaping instruments. By 2005, the group had narrowed down its tax proposals to a "solidarity contribution" (tax) on plane tickets to finance a global health fund. This page explores the different ways global taxes can be implemented, the need for democratic oversight and control, the policy shaping and distributive effects, and the possible use of such taxes to fund development and the UN, and its Specialized Agencies, Programmes and Funds.

General Analysis on Global Taxes

This section posts articles and documents analyzing the idea of global taxes and their dual role as policy instruments and as revenue sources for international programs and institutions.

Currency Transaction Taxes

This section posts information on currency transaction taxes, (sometimes referred to as the Tobin tax), which seeks to decrease currency speculation and ensure international financial stability while raising resources for poverty reduction.

Energy Taxes

This section posts articles dealing with efforts to implement international and regional taxes on energy fuels that cause global warming.

Aviation Taxes

This section posts articles dealing with efforts to implement international aviation taxes.

Tax Havens

This page looks at offshore tax havens that enable rich citizens and corporations to escape national tax systems.

Alternative Financing for the UN

This section provides information on alternative financing proposals (of the UN and development in general).



FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.