Thursday, December 17, 2009

Copenhagen - Shipping And Aviation Taxes May Fund Climate Change

Brown Supports Fuel Tax but the Devil is in the Detail
Shipping News Feature

COPENHAGEN – DENMARK – Reviewing the comments coming from the climate change conference which world leaders have given to their own press contrasts sharply in many cases with what is said in private interviews with journalists from other countries. African nations called yesterday for finance to be raised using an anti pollution tax i.e. dearer fuels. Given that shipping uses vast amounts of fuel moving cargo globally, that sounds like domestic and international freight and logistics movements, already depressed, are going to be hit.

According to reports by several foreign press agencies Britain firmly supports this idea, quoting interviews with Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown as sources, and yet the comments made to UK media seem to be completely non specific with regard to how the $100 billion fund leaders speak of to support poorer economies reduce their carbon dependence, will actually be raised.

Yesterday, with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen succeeding former talks President Connie Hedegaard in a controversial and somewhat muddled and unplanned conference leadership exchange, followed by the British representatives saying the talks were “in grave danger”, it is proving hard to see through the political fog and doubts exist as to whether anything worthwhile will appear at the end of the talks, due tomorrow.

The African proposition, put forward by Ethiopia and supported by the French directly refers to a tax on shipping and international aviation and, whilst disappointing many African countries who feel it doesn’t supply them with sufficient compensation, press from the proposing nations claim the plan has the full support of the British whose adoption of a “wait and see” attitude when discussing the possibility with their home media, contrasts sharply with this polarised view of each country’s position.

In other conference news, Gordon Brown was trapped alongside other delegates as protestors surrounded the Bella Centre, police preventing anyone leaving and subsequently arrested more than 100 people outside the venue.

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