Right now, we have an amazing opportunity to put in place a way of raising the money needed to end global poverty and help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change. This is because the French government has proposed adopting a global Financial Transaction Tax, also known as the Robin Hood Tax, at the G20 Summit they will be hosting in November 2011.
The Robin Hood Tax is a very small fee of 0.05% on all financial market transactions of stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities and derivatives. The fee would hardly be noticed by banks and long term investors, but it would help curb short term speculators whose casino-style trading was one of the causes of the global financial crisis a few years ago. It's a tax that would not be paid by ordinary Canadians.
This tax would raise hundreds of billions of dollars each year that could be dedicated to poverty reduction and helping poor countries cope with climate change. With many donor country governments dealing with large deficits, and aid budgets in many countries frozen or declining, it is critical that we find other innovative ways to raise the necessary funds.