At the 2010 UN Climate Summit in Cancun, agreement was reached to establish a “Green Climate Fund” (GCF) to reduce climate vulnerability in developing countries. The first meeting of the GCF Board will be held this year. The World Bank has been appointed as the interim trustee of the fund for a period of three years. Read more.
The global financial crisis has focused attention on the debts of countries such as Greece and the austerity measures that are causing enormous human suffering. Lost from the headlines, however, is the fact that developing countries were also hit hard by the financial crisis. Read more.
Tax Justice Resources
Halifax Initiative has prepared an annotated bibliography of tax justice books, articles, educational materials and useful links for use by students, researchers and activists.
In this June 13 press release, civil society welcomes the government's commitment to adopt binding corporate disclosure requirements but calls for further steps in the development of a comprehensive accountability framework regarding the overseas operations of Canadian extractive companies.
In March of this year, the former director of intelligence for the Brazilian mining company Vale lodged a complaint with public authorities regarding illegal spying activities allegedly carried out by the company in collaboration with the Brazilian intelligence agency. The allegations concern the infiltration of human rights organizations Justice on the Rails and the Landless Workers’ Movement. International civil society organizations are demanding an investigation.
On May 24, the Chilean government fined Barrick Gold $16 million for violations of its environmental permit for the Pascua Lama project. The following day, local communities released a public statement denouncing the fine. In an interview with Radio Canada International, the Halifax Initiative's Karyn Keenan discusses local reactions.
British Prime Minister Cameron has announced that standards for multilateral information exchange, increasing transparency of the ownership of trusts and companies, and reform of global tax rules will be key items on the agenda of the G-8 meeting this June. These are policy positions that NGOs have promoted for many years. We have written to Prime Minister Harper to urge that Canada take a progressive position on these issues and help move them forward.
In his April 6 article in the Ottawa Citizen, “Enough with the tax haven hysteria,” Bernard Shinder argued that recent media reports of the harmful role of tax havens are essentially much ado about nothing. A Halifax Initiative Op Ed on April 12 responded.
Oyu Tolgoi is an enormous copper and gold deposit in Mongolia. The project is jointly owned by Canadian company Turquoise Hill Resources and a state owned enterprise. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), estimated project cost is $12 billion. Project proponents seek financing from Export Development Canada, the IFC, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, among others. In this document, CSOs argue that the project does not comply with the IFC Performance Standards and provide a series of recommendations.
In early February, Peter Gillespie of the Halifax Initiative testified before Canada's Parliamentary Finance Committee on the role of tax havens in facilitating massive financial losses to developing countries.
This article by Halifax Initiative staff argues that since the 1960s, transnational corporations (TNCs) have exploited the faultlines of the international tax system to transfer billions of dollars from Southern countries to the North. Northern governments have protected this system, but are now being challenged by citizens' groups worldwide to put an end to these abuses. Published in Third World Resurgence magazine, December 2012.
In this Op Ed, Peter Gillespie of Halifax Initiative notes how multi-national companies have employed artificial accounting methods to avoid paying taxes in the places where they do business. This problem is affecting developed and developing countries alike.