Carbon pricing and digital tax find traction in Davos

(EurActiv, 28 Jan 2019) Business leaders and decision makers agreed during last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos that new taxes, including carbon pricing or a digital levy, would not only achieve a fairer economic model but would also help to fight climate change and deal with an ageing population.

Climate-related disasters represented four of the top five global risks, according to more than 1,000 interviewees who took part in the global risk report published ahead of the Davos forum.

Citizens’ unrest in many parts of the world is also putting additional pressure on governments and institutions to address growing inequality.

“We have to be more mindful that there are winners and losers for issues we are discussing,” Kristalina Georgieva, who will become the interim president of the World Bank next month, told the forum’s final panel last Friday (25 January).

During the Davos week, the issue of improving the tax system by fighting against tax havens and closing loopholes played an important role. Countries seen as part of the problem vowed to become part of the solution.

“I’ve a very simple view on this, I think big companies should pay their taxes, they should pay what they owe, pay them in full and they should pay them where they are owed. And the best way we can respond to the changes in the world economy is to agree these things at an international level through the OECD,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told the Davos audience.

But the inclusion of new taxes to reflect current challenges, such as a digital tax and a carbon pricing, won special relevance in the discussions.

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EurActiv, 28 Jan 2019: Carbon pricing and digital tax find traction in Davos