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It’s Time for a Climate Displacement Levy!

Updated: Sep 28, 2022

Whether we like it or not, the truth is that the money needed to prevent and resolve climate displacement has not been forthcoming and is unlikely to be for a very long time, if ever. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that 1.6-3.8 trillion (1.6T-3.8T) will be needed each year to avoid warming of more than 1.5C.]In 2021, global GDP is just shy of 93T. In 2009 the world’s wealthy nations committed to channel USD 100 billion (100B) to less wealthy countries annually to tackling climate change, but to date have fallen far short from this target. Some have alleged that the estimates of the funds that have been raised thus far are wildly exaggerated, and that even if 100B were provided each year that this would come nowhere near solving the climate crisis. While calculations vary widely from only slightly more than 10B in total to just short of 100B, the prevailing understanding is simply that “Trillions of dollars will be needed each year to meet the 2015 Paris agreement goal of restricting global warming to well-below 2C, if not 1.5C, above pre-industrial temperatures.

A Climate Displacement Levy on the world’s 2,800 billionaires at 1% of their respective fortunes every year for a period of 25 years could pay for the re-housing of the 400 million people expected (at a minimum!) to be displaced by climate change. Our call for this Levy is explained in the DS backgrounder here: Climate Displacement Levy

Solving climate displacement will cost money. The money is there. It now needs to be spent on this horrible and worsening crisis.

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