Final ICESDF Meeting

Aashish Khullar

Statement can be found here-

[In regards to speaking about more conducive trade regimes

Instead of using ‘business as usual’ WTO language, we need targets for fair market access for the populations most lagging in the proposed targets of the SDGs (LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS, Small hold farmers, pastoralists, indigenous people)- We propose that pro-poor, agricultural price subsidies should be permitted, whilst still eliminating and redirecting the harmful ones.]

in more technical terms, the focus should be to promote a universal, rules-based, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system in compliance with the development-oriented mandate of the WTO Doha Round and the human rights framework which is based in ex ante and ex post facto gender, human rights and environmental impact assessments

Free market cannot access cannot be a conditionality for fulfillment of ODA commitments. This impedes promotion of SD.]

Ecological Tax Reform-

The concept of ecological tax reform relies on shifting the tax base from a value added (labor and capital) basis to “that to which value is added,” namely resource extraction and depletion, along with pollution. Such a tax shift prices the scarce but previously un-priced contribution of nature to the production process.

 The goal here is to increase the allocative efficiencies of actors in order to better account for the resources they consume in the process of providing value to constituents.

 Value addition to natural resources via labor and capital is a process that should be encouraged. In this sense, increase in employment and living wages (which leads to SD) can be stimulated through incentivization, rather than taxation. Depletion and pollution are components of this process that should be discouraged, and subsequently taxed,. Ecological tax reform can be a supplement to cap-auction-trade and cap-auction- share systems that are used or proposed to regulate the utilization of current natural resources.

[Ecological tax reform can help perpetuate the underlying notion behind the cap-auction-trade framework that actors need to create value for citizens in a sustainable manner, which could make states proactive in findings ways to work within their ecological constraints. Taxation has been a proven mechanism for holding benefactors and factors of economic activity accountable for the costs associated with the value produced. Application of this mechanism will create a platform for sustainable development advocacy, and create the dialogue necessary for sustainable development to become a relevant component of consideration when un-renewable resources are used in the value addition process.]

A report commissioned by UNPRI in 2008 prior to Rio+20 had estimates the costs of environmental externalities to be $6.6 trillion ie 11% of the global GDP that year. These costs adversely affect sustainable development, and erode the natural resource base of our economy (something the Chapeau of the OWG report talks about protecting). These costs need to be taxed and discouraged. Such a reframing will in itself encourage practices that promote SD, rather than the contrary. Accounting for this $6.6 trillion externality not only creates necessary liquidity for re-allocation, but will establish the basis for allocation of resources towards investing in sustainable initiatives as applicable to the sustainable development goals.

Lastly, we are looking forward to the SD financing report and hope that it includes the suggestions we have given through the process. A transformative agenda will need a transformative financing strategy.

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