How to Make Polluters Pay: Climate Finance to Support Global Equity

The Summit for a New Global Financial Pact recently took place in Paris, bringing together country leaders, finance ministers, and civil society organizations. A side event was held to discuss “polluter pays principle”. 

Making Polluters Pay: Exploring the “Polluter Pays” Principle 

One of the side events held during the summit was titled “How to make polluters pay: Climate finance to support global equity.” This session delved into the concept of the “polluter pays principle.” This principle asserts that those who contribute to pollution should bear the responsibility of managing the environmental damage caused by their actions and compensate those affected by it. Greenhouse gases, which are considered pollutants due to their contribution to climate change and various forms of pollution, were a key focus of discussion. 

Estimating the Climate Finance Requirement 

The need for significant climate finance was highlighted during the summit. It was estimated that an annual investment of $2.4 trillion would be necessary until 2030 to facilitate a smooth transition towards sustainable practices in developing countries. This massive financial requirement emphasizes the urgency to explore new revenue streams beyond government and multilateral development bank contributions to ensure the availability of adequate climate finance. 

Exploring Potential Revenue Streams 

Various revenue streams were discussed as potential sources of climate finance during the summit. These included shipping levies, financial transaction taxes, fossil fuel taxes, levies on the export of oil, gas, and coal, and airline levies. These revenue-generating mechanisms have the potential to generate substantial funds that can be allocated towards climate-related initiatives and support the transition to greener economies. 

The Role of Shipping Industry and Proposed Levy 

The shipping industry was a significant topic of discussion, given its contribution of 2.9% to global greenhouse gas emissions. To address this issue, a proposed solution was the implementation of a shipping levy of $100 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. This levy aims to incentivize emission reductions within the industry and generate significant funds that can be used to support climate initiatives. 



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