• February 22, 2024

Swiss Nix Carbon Tax Just Before Biden Arrival

Federal President Joe Biden receives the Swiss Federal President Guy Parmelin in Geneva on Tuesday.


Photo:

alessandro della valle / swimming pool / shutterstock

Talk about embarrassing. Right after President

Joe Biden

and other leaders of advanced economies celebrated their expensive climate promises in Brussels, Biden had to fly to Switzerland – where voters have just rejected expensive climate promises made by the country’s politicians.

Judging by the photo accompanying this column, Swiss Federal President Guy Parmelin and President Biden kept things cheerful and may have done their best to avoid the topic when they attended the meeting scheduled for Wednesday between Mr Biden and the Russian strongman in Geneva discussed

Wladimir Putin.

But as far as Mr Biden knows where he is and what has just happened in the elections, he must be disappointed. John Revill from Reuters Reports from Zurich:

The Swiss electorate rejected a trio of environmental proposals on Sunday, including a new law designed to help the country achieve its goal of reducing CO2 emissions under the Paris Agreement … The result was a defeat for the Swiss government That supported the new law that included measures such as increasing the fuel surcharge for cars and levying a tax on airline tickets. The rejection meant that it was now “very difficult” for Switzerland to achieve its 2030 target of reducing CO2 emissions to half of 1990 levels and being net neutral by 2050, said Environment Minister Simonetta Sommaruga.

Mr. Revill adds:

A proposal that would make Switzerland the second country in the world to completely ban artificial pesticides was also rejected, as well as another proposal to reduce their use by diverting subsidies to farmers who no longer use the chemicals.

As for the Swiss rejection of the costly new climate plan, the BBC said Remarks:

Many voters appear to have been concerned about the economic impact as the country tries to recover from Covid-19. Opponents also pointed out that Switzerland was only responsible for 0.1% of global emissions and expressed doubts that such a policy would help the environment.

Their concerns are fully valid, and no doubt many US voters share similar concerns about Biden’s tax-heavy plan to fund a transition away from fossil fuels.

***

America the Generous
Hallelujah Hadero Reports for the Associated Press that “United States charitable donations reached a record $ 471 billion in 2020, according to a report released Tuesday that provides a comprehensive overview of American philanthropy.” Adds Ms. Hadero:

Americans donated more to charities in the past year than they did in 2019, despite an economic downturn affecting millions of paychecks, according to the Giving USA report. In response to the greater demand, estates and foundations also opened their wallets at elevated levels – resulting in a 5.1% increase in total donations from the $ 448 billion recorded for 2019, or a 3.8% increase, adjusted for inflation.

Foundations armed with the fortunes of great American capitalists were particularly active in 2020. According to the AP report:

Donations from individuals, which made up the bulk of donations last year, increased by around 2%. The largest increase came from foundations, increasing their total donations by 17% for an estimated $ 88.5 billion in donations. These donations made up about 19% of the total, the largest ever from foundations.

***

Do we have to read on??

“A top virologist in China at the center of a pandemic speaks out.” announces a fascinating headline in the New York Times. Fortunately for time-critical readers, the subheading of the article summarizes the article helpful: “The virologist Shi Zhengli said in a rare interview that speculations about her laboratory in Wuhan are unfounded. But China’s habitual secrecy makes its claims difficult to validate. ”Do you think? Determined readers, staying to the tenth paragraph, will be reminded of “China’s refusal to allow independent investigation of their laboratory or share data on its research.”

***

Ireland’s greatest treasures

Speech in Brussels on Tuesday at US-EU summit Before going to Geneva, President Biden joked about his fondness for quoting Irish poets, saying, “You think I quoted Irish poets because I am Irish. That’s not the reason. I quote them because they are the best poets in the world – that’s why. “

If only the president could also pay tribute to the people who created the best corporate tax policy in the world. Instead, he seems determined to impoverish her. Paul Hannon from the Journal Journal Reports:

Over the past two decades, multinational corporations have flocked to Ireland with a corporate tax rate of just 12.5%. Most US digital giants use the country as their European headquarters. Nine of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world have significant offices in the country and often manufacture drugs that are sold in the United States. Now the US is introducing an indictment setting a minimum tax rate of 15% on corporate profits, a plan that has succeeded in gaining new support from the Group of Seven countries meeting in the UK this weekend. Ireland’s government fears that the G-7’s plan to overhaul the international tax system will leave a big hole in its budget and make it less attractive to the many US companies whose decision to move to the country has in recent years its economic condition changed decades.

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James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China, and the Revival of the US.”

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