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Paris Summit Ends With No Conclusion

The Summit for a New Global Financing Pact concluded after two days of gathering with international leaders and financiers from the Global North and South attending. 

The Paris Summit aims to tackle world issues such as climate change and poverty. The gathering ended on Friday with no clear plans or major announcements concerning the future.

Although many topics were discussed, the one that left the Paris Summit without a definitive conclusion was the global shipping tax deal. A compromise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by international shipping could not be found. 

According to the International Maritime Organization, shipping is responsible for almost 3 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. This number could drastically increase, warned a European Parliament report

"Unfortunately, the Paris Summit has not provided the breakthrough needed to find the funding for our planet's survival," Teresa Anderson, Global Lead on Climate Justice for ActionAid International, said to Reuters

Some experts say the proposal to put a tax on international shipping would bring an estimated $100 billion per year. The money accrued from the proposed tax would be used to help developing countries deal with problems caused by climate change. 

Host of the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron, worries that the United States and China’s lack of involvement could be problematic. 

“This is a tax-free sector. And there’s no reason why it’s not taxed,” Macron said. “If China and the U.S. and several key European countries are not on board, then you would put a tax in place that would not have any impact.” 

It is unclear which countries support the tax proposal. Macron stated that 23 nations backed the initiative however, they were not identified in the official statement. 

The United States was represented by Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, who called the proposal “a very constructive suggestion” and said that the U.S. would look further into it before making any decisions. 

Although there was no promise of formal decisions to be made during the summit, Macron did create a formal to-do list of items to accomplish. The 15-page document released after the summit ended details actions that must be taken by organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and others in order for nations to make real change. One of the main actions proposed is funding projects in developing countries with local currency. This would allow the developing world to boost their economy with their own money as opposed to converted funds. 

“We need to be clear that if we don’t change the institutions, the world will remain the same,” Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said in the Associated Press. “Those who are rich will stay rich. Those who are poor will remain poor. This is the way it is.”

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