G20: IPS Experts Available for Comment

Click here for the full statement and list of 183 endorsing organizations

Washington, D.C. – Labor, environmental, and other groups from around the world are calling on President Barack Obama and other world leaders to take action on financial transactions taxes at the G-20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea on November 11 and 12.

Also known as financial speculation taxes, these small levies on trades of stock, derivatives, currency and other financial instruments would generate massive revenues for jobs and other needs and discourage the short-term financial speculation that poses high risks to the economy.

A total of 183 labor unions and other groups from 42 countries, including 16 of the G-20 members, have signed the statement. These organizations represent more than 200 million people worldwide. Among the U.S. endorsers are the AFL-CIO, the Services Employees International Union, Friends of the Earth, Health GAP, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Public Citizen.

The statement cites several examples of how the case for taxing financial transactions has been strengthened recently by some unexpected sources, including the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

Civil society representatives delivered the statement to G-20 sherpas at an October 14 Civil G-20 meeting hosted by the Korean government. Groups are now using this updated version in lobbying national governments in the lead-up to the Summit.

IPS Experts Available for Comment:

Sarah Anderson, IPS Global Economy Project Director

Contact: [email protected], 202 787 5227 (o), 202 299 4531 (c)

Anderson, who chairs regular international strategy calls on this issue, will be in Seoul Nov. 8-11 to speak at several international civil society events related to the G-20 summit. She is the lead author of an IPS report on transactions taxes that garnered coverage in the New York Times, as well as a commentary on U.S. interests in the G-20 published in this Friedrich Ebert Foundation report. She also serves on an advisory committee to the Obama administration on international investment policies. See full bio here.

“Financial transactions taxes deserve a central spot on the G-20 agenda,” Anderson says. “Beyond the revenue benefits, such taxes would help discourage the reckless financial activity that caused the crisis.”

Janet Redman, Co-Director of IPS’s Sustainable Energy and Economy Network

Contact: [email protected], 202 787 5215 (o), 508 340 0464 (c)

Redman is an expert on global climate negotiations and particularly the need to ensure sufficient funding for developing country adaptation and mitigation. Redman points out that “taxing financial speculation is the only option on the table with the potential to generate the level of revenues needed to address urgent domestic needs, such as green jobs, and also fulfill climate commitments.” See full bio here.

Click here for the full statement and list of endorsing organizations