Oxfam International Blogs - transparency http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/transparency en 3 ways tax justice can help close the inequality gap http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-02-10-3-ways-tax-can-help-close-inequality-gap <div class="field field-name-body"><p>It was US President Benjamin Franklin who said, in 1789, "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." Oh how times have changed – at least for a minority. While in the past 200 years, the economic elite have not yet found a way to cheat death, they have been masterful at dodging paying their fair dues in tax.</p> <p>Around $950 billion left developing countries in 2011 in illicit financial flows (more than half of which was diverted through abusive shift of profits by multinational companies to tax havens, the rest lost to corruption and theft). At least $100 billion is lost in potential tax revenues. Many of the world’s wealthiest individuals are holding <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/eu/pressroom/pressrelease/2013-05-22/tax-havens-private-billions-could-end-extreme-poverty-twice-over" rel="nofollow">$18.5 trillion offshore in tax havens</a></strong>. This equates to a potential loss of $156.31 billion in tax revenues.</p> <p>This is a monstrous amount of invisible money lying idle. Its purpose serves only to augment the wealth and power of the top 1 per cent and increase the wealth and income gap between the remaining 99 per cent. Sadly, it’s a critical loss of vital tax revenues that governments could put to work to plug budget gaps, invest in social spending, public goods, and to provide social safety nets for those falling below the poverty line.</p> <h3>Systemic secrecy</h3> <p>Skewed tax systems that favour the wealthy, a labyrinth of tax rules open for easy exploitation, financial secrecy enabling tax evasion and money laundering sucks money up from the real economy into the hands of the 1 percent, while denying the 99 per cent their fair stake.</p> <p>Andrew Norton (ODI), in an excellent <a href="http://www.odi.org.uk/opinion/8099-inequality-rising-zeitgeist-fear-disorder-hope-change-de-blasio-tax" rel="nofollow"><strong>opinion piece</strong></a> on inequality, argues the top 5 per cent in global wealth distribution has captured just under half the increases in global income in recent times. He concludes the one overriding priority to check this trend is ‘to create a global tax system which is fit for our evolving global economy.’</p> <p>While the FT in its <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/35f8b322-6813-11e3-8ada-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz2sZCLR1oT" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Much ado about inequality</strong> </a>editorial, has a different take on inequality trends, it also points to taxation – to invest in public goods and services globally - as the vehicle by which to redress the harmful impacts of inequality.</p> <h3>Closing the gap</h3> <p>The power of taxation as a key tool to foster equity is not a revelation. <a href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2013/08/can-taxation-reduce-inequality-lessons-from-ecuador" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Ecuador</strong> </a>has brought some significant fiscal reforms to help close the wealth and income gap in the country. Increased tax revenues are sourced from a more progressive system of direct income tax, and less from indirect taxes (such as VAT) which impacts are regressive. Tax reforms, alongside other fiscal measures, have provided for a significant increase in budget allocation to health and education over the past five years. This increase in social expenditure has resulted in an overall reduction of poverty and exclusion.</p> <p>There is still much progress to be made however. Moves to raise more tax revenues from the wealthiest and reduce dependency on revenues from extractive industries, such as oil are slow to materialise. As important, the government needs to continue to invest in improving the quality and coverage of public services, such as health and education, particularly in rural areas.</p> <p>UK Prime Minister, David Cameron recognized that the public will not tolerate inaction against tax cheats when they face the daily challenges of austerity. In 2013, the UK showed international leadership among G8 and G20 peers<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/10051346/Osborne-Offshore-tax-havens-must-crackdown-on-illegal-evasion.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong> by promising</strong></a> to deliver tax transparency and crack down on corporate tax dodging.</p> <p>The G8 and G20 have made some headway, so what are the next steps needed:</p> <h3>1. New global rules on corporate tax dodging</h3> <p>In response to high profile exposés of scandalous tax dodging behaviour of transnational companies, such as Starbuck’s and Amazon, the OECD is investigating how to create new global rules to tackle some aspects of corporate tax dodging</p> <p><strong>Need steps needed</strong>: the world’s poorest countries (non OECD/G20) need a place at the negotiating table. They are currently excluded, despite being hit hardest by illicit financial flows. </p> <h3>2. Public registries of company ownership</h3> <p>The UK has agreed to set up a public register of the real owners of the millions of shell companies, revealing the identity of the owners will help prevent crimes such as tax evasion, money laundering and corruption.</p> <p><strong>Next steps needed:</strong> The public register needs to include good quality, reliable and accessible information so it’s fit for purpose. Others governments, including UK tax havens, other EU countries, as part of the negotiations on the new anti-money laundering directive etc, should follow the UK government’s lead. The public register should also extend to cover trusts and foundations. </p> <h3>3. Sharing tax information between countries</h3> <p>New commitments around sharing tax information between countries have been made. G8 and G20 countries have agreed develop an <a href="http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/frontiers-in-tax/pages/automatic-exchange-information.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>international standard</strong></a> for the automatic information sharing between all tax authorities. Additionally, many tax havens have signed the international convention on tax matters.</p> <p><strong>Next steps needed</strong>: a new international system of automatic information exchange needs to bring benefits to all countries from the start, and importantly work towards including all countries, not only OECD or G20.</p> <h3>More than rhetoric needed</h3> <p>Granted important steps on paper have been taken. But frankly, so far progress adds up to little more than rhetoric. Brave international political leadership is needed to accelerate momentum and create a global tax system that helps redistribute income and wealth to invest in equitable and sustainable growth.</p> <p>In 2013 the spotlight was on <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-09-03-g20-must-rewrite-global-rules-corporate-tax"><strong>fighting iniquitous tax rules</strong></a>. In 2014, political interest cannot be allowed to fade. Success will only truly be achieved when paying your fair dues in tax is universally considered to be a source of pride, privilege and responsible behaviour.</p> <p><em>What do you think: anything missing from this list, to help close the inequality gap? Add your comment below.</em></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Blog:</strong> <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-01-22-working-few-inequality-and-threat-democracy"><strong>Working for the Few: Inequality and the threat to democracy</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/development-finance-and-inequality" rel="nofollow">Development Finance and Inequality: Good practice in Ecuador, Rwanda and Thailand</a><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality" rel="nofollow"></a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-01-02-all-i-want-2014-challenge-extreme-inequality"><strong>All I want for 2014 is a challenge to extreme inequality</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-01-09-4-ways-eu-can-fight-poverty-2014"><strong>4 pivotal ways the EU can fight poverty in 2014</strong> </a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>3 ways tax justice can help close the inequality gap </h2></div> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 16:35:40 +0000 Claire Godfrey 10608 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-02-10-3-ways-tax-can-help-close-inequality-gap#comments The private sector and poverty: harnessing firepower, recognizing limits http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-12-02-private-sector-poverty-harnessing-firepower-recognizing-limits <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>By <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/user/profile/winnie-byanyima">Winnie Byanyima</a></strong>, Executive Director of Oxfam International, and <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/user/profile/raymond-c-offenheiser">Raymond Offenheiser</a></strong>, President of Oxfam America</em><strong></strong></p> <p><strong>Jobs, innovation, wealth creation: the private sector has great potential to pull people out of poverty. And as developing countries open their doors to greater trade and investment, the reach, influence and impact of private companies grows. It’s this power to affect the lives of the poor people – not always for the better – that makes it essential Oxfam engages.</strong></p> <p>We’re increasingly taking on hard-hitting campaigns to get companies to take responsibility for the impacts of their operations. We’re also working to establish transformative partnerships with private sector leaders.</p> <p>As development professionals, our experience at the intersection of business and poverty has brought us to an acute awareness that <strong>the positives of private sector engagement cannot be a trade-off for harms caused</strong>. So for example, creating 2,000 jobs cannot justify displacing 20,000 people from their land and livelihoods.</p> <p>This month Coca-Cola <a href="http://coca-colacompany.com/our-company/proposal-to-oxfam-on-land-tenure-and-sugar" rel="nofollow">announced "zero tolerance" to land grabs</a> after more than 225,000 people signed petitions and took action as part of Oxfam’s land rights campaign. The company also said it will allow independent social, environmental and human rights assessments across its supply chains. As the largest purchaser of sugar in the world, Coca-Cola has immense power to influence its suppliers and the industry. A “do no harm” principle must be central to all core business practices; Coca-Cola’s unprecedented step will resonate throughout the industry.</p> <h3>The role of the private sector in development</h3> <p><strong>World Bank President Jim Yong Kim recently wrote a <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-10-28-private-sector-investment-critical-end-extreme-poverty">guest Oxfam blog</a></strong> describing the private sector as a central pillar in the bank’s new strategy to end extreme poverty. That the World Bank is carefully deliberating on the role of the private sector in development and its limits is encouraging.</p> <p>Social and environmental performance standards are the requirement of the bank’s collaboration, President Kim said, if companies want to tap into the institution’s technical expertise, relationships, investment dollars, and risk insurance. And indeed in its dealings with the private sector the onus is on the bank to ensure costs are not off-loaded onto the poorest and most vulnerable people.</p> <h3>Is the World Bank “learning from failure”?</h3> <p>To do this, the bank must ensure it has robust accountability mechanisms in place – because after all standards only work if they are applied. Equally important is President Kim’s assurance “we are learning from failure”. <a href="http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/documents/Audit_Report_C-I-R9-Y10-135.pdf" rel="nofollow">Recent audits</a> of IFC and World Bank investments reveal <strong>fault lines in the bank’s ability to ensure no harm to affected communities</strong>, particularly when lending through intermediaries including banks and private equity funds.</p> <p>But in at least <a href="http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/CAOAuditReportC-I-R6-Y12-F160.pdf" rel="nofollow">two recent cases</a> the World Bank Group management <strong>refuted, denied or failed to act</strong> on findings from its accountability mechanisms. This is why we have recently, with our allies, <strong><a href="/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/20131112-CSO-letter-learning-from-failure.pdf" rel="nofollow">written to President Kim</a></strong> to ask him to take such findings seriously, ensure the World Bank Group takes remedial action, and that accountability mechanisms findings are not ignored in the future.</p> In Brazil, many children are getting sick from pesticides sprayed on sugar plantations from the air. Photo: Tatiana Cardeal/Oxfam. <p><strong>The limitations of the private sector must not be underplayed.</strong> Ultimately, governments must safeguard strong and effective regulatory environments. And it is governments that must step in to provide essential public services: no low- or middle-income country has achieved universal or near universal healthcare and education without relying predominantly on public financing and public delivery of services. <strong><a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/05/21/world-bank-group-president-urges-countries-to-deliver-universal-health-coverage-to-help-end-poverty" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">President Kim says</a></strong> that “To free the world from absolute poverty by 2030, countries must ensure that all of their citizens have access to quality, affordable health services.”</p> <p>We agree. But we urge extreme caution against the trend to scale up private sector provision of healthcare as the way to do that as evidence shows it does not deliver results for the poorest. A mid-term evaluation of the International Finance Corporation’s ‘Health in Africa’ initiative, for example, identified a systematic failure of the initiative to focus on its targeted beneficiaries – ‘the underserved.’</p> <h3>Equality and accountability</h3> <p><strong>A rising economic tide is not a ship that automatically lifts all boats.</strong> Too often, growth is put first and the interests of poor people second, leaving them to bear the costs of growth – environmental degradation, inequality, corruption and marginalization. To channel resources and economic growth to pro-poor ends, the realities of power and marginalization must be acknowledged and tackled, and the bank’s interventions should not entrench power balances already in favor of the influential.</p> <p>This will require a strong focus on <strong>transparency, accountability, and participation</strong>. The bank’s role in leveraging investment flows into developing counties is crucial. Even more important is getting those resources to empower farmers, workers, and communities.</p> <p>Together, we must make sure that private sector firepower is harnessed to address global poverty. Beating poverty depends on it.</p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-10-10-why-world-bank-not-walking-their-talk-inequality">Why is the World Bank not walking their talk on inequality?</a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-recommendations-for-ida-deputies-ida17-Sept2013.pdf"><strong>Oxfam Recommendations for IDA Deputies on the International Development Association’s 17th replenishment process (IDA 17)</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/universal-health-coverage" rel="nofollow">Universal Health Coverage: Why health insurance schemes are leaving the poor behind</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.behindthebrands.org/" rel="nofollow">Behind the Brands campaign</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The private sector and poverty: harnessing firepower, recognizing limits</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-12-02-secteur-prive-services-publics-lutte-pauvrete" title="Secteur privé et services publics : quelles solutions contre la pauvreté ?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-12-02-empleo-innovacion-y-creacion-de-riqueza-el-potencial-del-sector-privado-para-sacar-la" title="El sector privado y la pobreza: aprovechar su potencial, reconocer sus límites" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 02 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10537 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-12-02-private-sector-poverty-harnessing-firepower-recognizing-limits#comments Oxfam’s To-Do List for President Obama's Africa Trip http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-06-28-oxfams-do-list-president-obamas-africa-trip <div class="field field-name-body"><p> </p> <p><strong>Over the next decade, more than $1 trillion in natural resources will be extracted from the African continent. </strong>Currently, Africa exports more than $300 billion a year in oil, gas and mineral exports—more than four times the amount of aid the continent receives. But that money is not building roads, schools and hospitals for Africa’s people. In fact, booming extractives industries often lead to more poverty and powerlessness. </p> <p><strong></strong></p> <p>The people of Kedougou, Senegal, for instance, live atop a large scale gold-mining operation. Despite the riches found in their soil, none of it has been returned to their community. Many have lost access to the agricultural land that sustained their families, and many others did not even receive adequate compensation when they were forced off their lands without consultation. 
 </p> <p>President Obama got it right four years ago when he said <strong>Africa's future lies with Africa's institutions</strong>. Now as he travels to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, I hope he will use the opportunity to shine a bright light on the transparency and accountability shortfalls that perpetuate poverty and inequality on the continent.  </p> <p><strong>Africa’s leaders need to be more open </strong>about how they spend their budgets, and what they do with fees and royalties from oil and mining companies operating on their soil. African citizens have a right to decide how to put their countries’ resources to work for their own futures. Let them claim their rights and fight for their own development.
 </p> <p>For his part, <strong>President Obama should lead by example</strong>, and release US government aid data. African citizens, as recipients of American aid, have a right to know whether this money is achieving real results – as does the American public. As one of the largest aid donors in the world, the United States shouldn’t be one of the least transparent.  </p> <p>On his last trip to Africa in 2009, President urged Africans to take more leadership of their own development. The US government need not make this harder than it should be. There’s enormous value in the power of local people to decide how aid is spent, and how to lead their own development efforts in partnership with the US.  </p> <p>What Africa’s people want now is a fair deal new deal that gets the continent’s resources working for them. Support by President Obama along this path will be warmly welcomed. <em></em></p> <p><em>Winnie Byanyima is the Executive Director of Oxfam International. </em></p> <h3>You may also like<strong><a href="http://www.oxfamamerica.org/articles/west-africa-asks-where-is-my-gold" rel="nofollow"></a></strong></h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfamamerica.org/articles/west-africa-asks-where-is-my-gold" rel="nofollow">West Africa asks where is my gold</a></strong> <em>(Oxfam America)</em></p> <p><strong>Blog:</strong><em> </em><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-05-08-africa-control-its-fortune">Africa control its fortune</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Press release: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2013-06-26/oxfams-do-list-president-obamas-africa-trip" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's to do list during President Obama's trip to Africa</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Oxfam’s To-Do List for President Obama&#039;s Africa Trip</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-06-29-recommandations-president-barack-obama-voyage-afrique" title="Recommandations au président Barack Obama lors de son voyage en Afrique" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Sat, 29 Jun 2013 07:00:00 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10365 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-06-28-oxfams-do-list-president-obamas-africa-trip#comments Verdict on the G8 Summit, 2013 http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-06-20-verdict-g8-summit-2013 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>I sat in Enniskillen Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon, having just delivered our final, golf-themed stunt with the Big Heads, and watched the news coverage of the G8 Summit drawing to a close. When the <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/207771/Lough_Erne_2013_G8_Leaders_Communique.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>G8 communiqué</strong></a> came out, we got to work analysing and put <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-g8-2013-communique" rel="nofollow"><strong>our reaction</strong></a> out to the media - saying that the G8 had ‘asked all the right questions but has been thin on answers’. Now 48 hours later and with the dust beginning to settle, I can properly reflect on the G8 outcomes this year.</p> <h3>Syria crisis</h3> <p>In the days leading up to the Summit, the Syrian crisis surged to the top of the G8 agenda. But the <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/g8-summit-syria-peace-talks" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>apparent stalemate</strong></a> between G8 leaders on defining concrete next steps on the crisis gave us little cause for hope of any progress. In the end, the G8 reached agreement that could act as a springboard for future action – as long as they stick to their word. The G8’s statement on Syria reaffirmed their commitment to find a political solution to the conflict including peace talks as soon as possible; to pursue greater humanitarian access for aid agencies and pledged $1.5bn of desperately needed funding to help the eight million people affected. Now the pressure is on to ensure that momentum is not lost and peace talks become a reality (<a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t-let-syria-down" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>and you can help</strong></a>).</p> <h3>Tax transparency</h3> <p>Tax transparency was the second hot topic on the agenda. The UK government had laid down the gauntlet in the months and weeks leading up to the Summit with big talk of ‘sweeping away’ tax secrecy. And last Saturday, the UK’s own tax havens announced they will sign up to an international Convention on sharing tax information – the signs were looking good. The final G8 tax deal ended with more rhetoric but little detail. The G8 acknowledged that new measures to share tax information need to be open to the poorest countries, but made few commitments to actually doing this. Much more disappointing was the G8’s lack of action to end secret company ownership. A public registry that shows who actually benefits from the ownership of each company would have been a crucial first step, but only a few G8 leaders could even agree to looking at private registries of ‘beneficial ownership’. As our reaction said – you can’t end secrecy with secret lists.</p> <h3>The problem of land-grabbing</h3> <p>Another priority for Oxfam at this year’s Summit was land transparency – and again the G8 scored well for recognising the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/landgrabs" rel="nofollow"><strong>problem of land-grabbing</strong></a>. It even made it into the 10–point ‘<a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/g8-lough-erne-declaration" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Lough Erne Declaration</strong></a>' – a one-page summary of the Summit and two international meetings in the preceding weeks. The G8 also agreed a series of partnerships with developing countries to improve land transparency. But they failed to live up to the pre-Summit talk of ‘putting their own house in order’ by clamping down on companies in their own countries involved in land grabbing. This is unfinished business and we’ll be calling on the G8 to launch a truly ambitious global initiative on land by 2015 that can lift the veil of secrecy on land grabbing.</p> <h3>Progress, but...</h3> <p>So the spectacle of the G8 is over for another year, and the media, police and campaigners like me have all packed up and returned home. Whilst the Summit outcomes are <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-g8-2013-communique" rel="nofollow"><strong>not everything we had hoped for</strong></a>, we should celebrate the progress that was made. Some of the most powerful leaders on the planet are now talking the talk on land and tax transparency – issues that were totally off their radar only a few years ago. We’ll keep on campaigning until the G8 show they can also walking the walk.</p> <p><em><strong>What do you think? Did the G8 get the job done, or were they really just sight-seeing this year?</strong></em></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Join the petition: <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/don-t-let-syria-down" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Don't let Syria down</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Verdict on the G8 Summit, 2013</h2></div> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 17:19:12 +0000 Adam Musgrave 10355 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-06-20-verdict-g8-summit-2013#comments Africa in control of its fortune http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-08-africa-control-its-fortune <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Several African countries are amongst today’s fastest growing economies in the world, boosted in many instances by new discoveries of oil, natural gas and strategic mineral reserves.</strong> Extreme poverty on the continent is in decline, and progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals has accelerated. A number of very poor African countries, including Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia have made recent and substantial improvements in their levels of income equality.</p> <p>Yet Africa’s impressive growth is not shared by millions of its people. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to a third of the world's poorest people, and six of the top 10 most unequal countries in the world. Where income inequality is high, the benefits of economic growth are inaccessible to poor people. Poverty and exclusion are bad for social stability, preventing productive investment and undermining growth itself.</p> <p><strong>The continent’s potential is also being undermined by illicit capital hemorrhaging</strong> out of African countries – often in the form of tax evasion and trade mispricing by multinational oil, gas and mining companies, and in collusion with corrupt elected officials. In 2010, Africa’s oil, gas and mineral exports amounted to $333 billion. But estimates of illicit financial outflows from Africa are up to $200 billion annually, dwarfing the development aid it receives.</p> <p>Together, income inequalities and illicit capital flows are cheating Africa of its wealth and potential for the investments in education, agriculture and healthcare needed to support productive citizens.</p> <p><strong>This week in Cape Town [8-10 May], African business and government leaders will meet at the <a href="http://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-africa-2013" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Economic Forum on Africa</a></strong>. My message to them: For Africa to meet its real potential, you must stand behind the millions being left behind by economic growth. Otherwise, social and economic progress on the continent will be undermined.</p> <p>The European Union last month agreed a deal on <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/eu/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-eurodad-reaction-eu-deal-transparency-extractive-industries" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">a law that will make oil, gas, mining and logging firms companies declare payments</a></strong> to governments in the countries where they operate. This bolsters similar, recent legislation in the United States under <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/eu/pressroom/pressrelease/2010-07-15/us-congress-passes-law-end-secrecy-oil-gas-mining-industry" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">the Dodd-Frank financial reform law</a></strong>, and is excellent news. Transparency is a great disinfectant. It will put pressure on governments to account for how they spend money they receive from fees and royalties.</p> <p>Some African states are making some of the right moves to manage resource wealth responsibly. In Ghana, the Petroleum Revenue Management Act has compelled quarterly disclosures of payments and production figures while in Liberia the voluntary Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been turned into a binding statutory requirement.</p> <p><strong>But Africa can’t do it alone.</strong> The private sector is the engine of Africa’s economy, and if working responsibly, holds the key to fair and sustainable economic development. Companies’ policies and practices must respect the rights of the people in the countries where they operate. Communities affected by extractive projects must be informed and consulted, and given the opportunity to approve or reject proposed operations.</p> <p>For their part, Africa’s development partners can deliver aid which will promote good governance, and support civil society to keep their leaders accountable.</p> <p>We are witnessing a scramble for Africa’s natural resource reminiscent of the period of the industrial revolution in Europe. It is urgent and imperative that policies are in place in each country to protect the rights and interests of African people, most especially those living in poverty. To sustain high growth rates, priority must be placed on forging inclusive policies that ensure that growth is both equitable and sustainable. Much more of the proceeds of the African resource boom need to go directly into education, health and nutrition and improving the productive capacities of the poorest citizens. If not, efforts to boost economic growth in a sustainable way will be undercut.</p> <p><strong>It is time for a new, fair deal</strong> for poor people in Africa, one that gets Africa’s resources working for all its people.</p> <p><em>Winnie Byanyima is at the World Economic Forum on Africa: </em><strong><a href="http://www.ipadio.com/channels/WinnieByanyima" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">listen to her phonecast on Ipadio</a></strong></p> <p></p> <h3><strong>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/Winnie_Byanyima" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">@Winnie_Byanyima </a>on Twitter</strong></h3></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Africa in control of its fortune</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-05-08-afrique-prend-destin-main" title="L’Afrique prend son destin en main" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-05-08-africa-debe-ser-duena-de-su-destino" title="África debe ser dueña de su destino" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Wed, 08 May 2013 23:00:00 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10312 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-08-africa-control-its-fortune#comments África debe ser dueña de su destino http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10311 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Impulsados por el descubrimiento de nuevos yacimientos de petróleo, gas natural o de reservas estratégicas de minerales, son varios los países africanos que se encuentran entre las economías que más rápido crecen del mundo. La pobreza extrema disminuye en todo el continente y los progresos hacia la consecución de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio se han acelerado. Recientemente, varios países africanos muy pobres, entre ellos Malawi, Sierra Leona y Etiopía, han mejorado de forma sustancial sus niveles de igualdad en los ingresos. </p> <p><strong>Y, sin embargo, millones de personas aún no son partícipes de este increíble crecimiento</strong>. África subsahariana acoge a un tercio de las personas más pobres del mundo y a seis de los diez países con un mayor nivel de desigualdad de todo el planeta. Cuando la desigualdad de ingresos es elevada, los beneficios del crecimiento económico resultan inaccesibles para las personas pobres. La pobreza y la exclusión son perjudiciales para la estabilidad social, impiden una inversión productiva y minan el crecimiento en sí mismo. </p> <p><strong>El potencial del continente también se está viendo socavado por el flujo ilícito de capitales que escapan de los países africanos</strong>, a menudo debido a la evasión de impuestos o a la manipulación de los precios comerciales por parte de las empresas petrolíferas, mineras o de gas, y que cuentan con el beneplácito de funcionarios corruptos. En 2010, las exportaciones africanas de petróleo, gas y minerales ascendieron a un total de 333.000 millones de dólares. Sin embargo, se estima que el flujo ilícito de capitales salientes de África suma 200.000 dólares anuales, perjudicando, así, el desarrollo. </p> <p>Juntos, la desigualdad de ingresos y el flujo ilícito de capitales, despojan a África de su riqueza y de potenciales inversiones en educación, agricultura y sanidad, necesarias para potenciar una ciudadanía productiva.</p> <p><strong>Esta semana, del 8 al 10 de mayo, líderes de empresas y gobiernos africanos se reúnen en Ciudad del Cabo con motivo del <a href="http://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-africa-2013" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Foro Económico Mundial para África</a></strong>. Este es mi mensaje para ellos: para que África pueda desarrollar todo su potencial, debéis apoyar a los millones de personas que el crecimiento económico deja de lado. Sino, el progreso social y económico del continente se verá lastrado.</p> <p>El pasado mes, la Unión Europea acordó una<strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/eu/node/30588" rel="nofollow"> </a><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/eu/node/30588" rel="nofollow">ley</a><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/eu/node/30588" rel="nofollow"> que obligará a las empresas madereras, mineras, petroleras y de gas a declarar los pagos</a></strong> realizados a los gobiernos de los países en los que operan. Ésta, junto a la reciente aprobación de una norma similar en el marco de la nueva Ley de Reforma Financiera Dodd- Frank en Estados Unidos, es una excelente noticia. La transparencia es un estupendo remedio que supondrá una mayor presión para los gobiernos, quienes deberán rendir cuentas mejor de cómo gastan el dinero que reciben por derechos y cánones. </p> <p><strong>Algunos estados africanos están dando los pasos adecuados para gestionar sus ricos recursos de forma responsable</strong>. En Ghana, la Ley sobre Industria y Gestión de Ingresos Petroleros exige la publicación trimestral de los pagos y de los datos de producción, mientras que en Liberia la Iniciativa de Transparencia en la Industria Extractiva (EITI, por sus siglas en inglés) ha pasado a ser de obligado cumplimiento. </p> <p><strong>Pero África no puede hacerlo por sí sola</strong>. El sector privado es el motor económico del continente que, de actuar de forma responsable, tiene la clave para lograr un desarrollo económico justo y sostenible. Las políticas y las prácticas de las empresas deben respetar los derechos de las personas de los países en los que operan. Se debe informar y consultar a las comunidades afectadas por los proyectos de extracción y darles la oportunidad de aprobar o rechazar las actividades propuestas. </p> <p>Por su parte, los aliados de África en su desarrollo deben proporcionar una ayuda que promueva una buena gobernanza y una sociedad civil capaz de exigir a sus líderes que rindan cuentas. </p> <p>Estamos siendo testigos de una lucha por los recursos naturales africanos, reminiscente de la revolución industrial europea. Es urgente e imperativo que las políticas de cada país protejan los derechos e intereses de los ciudadanos y ciudadanas africanos, especialmente de quienes viven en la pobreza. Para lograr una tasa de crecimiento sostenida es necesario dar prioridad a políticas inclusivas que garanticen que el crecimiento es tanto sostenible como justo. Así, se debe destinar una parte mucho mayor de los ingresos generados por el boom de los recursos africanos a la educación, la sanidad y la nutrición, así como a mejorar la capacidad productiva de las personas más pobres. De lo contrario, los esfuerzos por impulsar el crecimiento económico de forma sostenible no tendrán efecto alguno. </p> <p><strong>Es hora de alcanzar un nuevo acuerdo, más justo para las personas pobres de África;</strong> uno que haga que los recursos del continente beneficien a todos sus habitantes.</p> <p><em>Winnie Byanyima es la directora ejecutiva de Oxfam Internacional: </em><strong><a href="http://www.ipadio.com/channels/WinnieByanyima" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Escucha su phonecast en Ipadio</a></strong></p> <p></p> <h3><strong>Sigue a <a href="https://twitter.com/Winnie_Byanyima" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">@Winnie_Byanyima </a>en Twitter</strong></h3></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>África debe ser dueña de su destino</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-05-08-afrique-prend-destin-main" title="L’Afrique prend son destin en main" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_en last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-08-africa-control-its-fortune" title="Africa in control of its fortune" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> </ul> Wed, 08 May 2013 13:49:47 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10311 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10311#comments Day 7: Farmers do not come from Mars http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-12-18-day-7-farmers-do-not-come-mars <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>If poor farmers had more freedom to innovate and adequate access to public and private investments, they would likely disappoint us by getting out of farming altogether. But even if only one or two in five remained, they would change the world for the better, literally.</strong></em></p> <p><em>By Julio A. Berdegué, Principal Researcher,<strong><a href="http://www.rimisp.org/inicio/about_rimisp.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> Latin American Centre for Rural Development</a></strong> (RIMISP)</em></p> <p>Resource-poor farmers are not Martians. Like you and me they make decisions that are largely informed by their culture, their capabilities, and the set of incentives (positive and negative) they face. The question that Oxfam asked me to answer invites us to think about a world in which the capabilities of the farmers have been greatly expanded and the incentives they face have been redefined in ways favourable to them. </p> <p>Amartya Sen would say this is what development is all about, attaining “the freedoms of people to lead the kind of lives they have reason to value.” </p> <p>What would resource-poor famers do with that freedom to innovate? Probably we would see about 500 million different answers, one for every smallholder on the planet. We need to recognize that that is just fine, because very often those of us who look at poor farmers from afar, tend to have strong preconceptions of who we would like resource-poor farmers to be in a better world that we have built in our minds. </p> <h3><em>“What would resource-poor farmers do with the freedom to innovate? We would see about 500 million different answers, one for every smallholder on the planet.”</em></h3> <p>If these farmers had more freedom to innovate, many of them very likely would disappoint us, leading lives that they have reason to value and that are probably quite different from those that we, external observers, would like to see them valuing.</p> <p>To begin with, many of them would move to cities. If they really had a lot of freedom, some would even move to other countries. However, if before deciding to move they had adequate access to public and private sector investments in support of their innovations, if they moved for sure it would be because they would value that option, and not because poverty, hunger and social exclusion expel them from their birthplace. </p> <p>Others would remain where they’ve always lived, or nearby, but would gradually become only part-time farmers, or even get out of farming. They, or their children, would become traders, shopkeepers, artisans, professional singers... or doctors and engineers and, God save us, MBAs or politicians. With such diversity they would enrich the social, cultural and economic fabric of their villages and of the nearby towns and small cities. Richer, better rural societies would be the result.</p> <p>Finally, some would continue to be farmers. I believe that they would be a minority of the 500 million that we started with. And that is also perfectly fine. If they were capable of bringing their ideas to fruition because they have adequate access to public and private investments, even if only 100 or 200 million remained in farming, they would change the world for the better, literally. </p> <p>Think about it: As farmers, what would they seek to achieve through their innovations? Probably they would seek to produce more, and to do it in ways that allow them to become the preferred choice of the buyers of their products and, ultimately, of the consumers. I think that they would value innovations that put more cash in their pockets, so they can buy the goods and services that are part of the lives they have reason to value and that they cannot produce themselves or exchange with their neighbours. </p> <h3><em>“Farmers would value innovations that put more cash in their pockets.”</em></h3> <p>They also would probably like to work less, or better said, to ease the huge physical exertion that is today associated with the life of the resource-poor farmer; that would allow them to live fuller, more humane lives. And, finally, I believe they would also like to be far less dependent on the political masters that today use their control of varied resources to condition farmers’ choices as citizens. </p> <p>I am quite sure that almost all farmers would seek these four outcomes of innovation, because, after all, farmers are not Martians. </p> <p>Yes, you must be asking, what about natural resources? Well, I am not as certain that most resource-poor farmers would chose to use less water, or fewer pesticides, or adopt soil-conserving technologies, under the “What if...” conditions of almost unlimited freedom from constraints that is implied in Oxfam’s question. </p> <p>I would hope that many would, but I am not sure. You see, several of the four outcomes of innovation that I believe most farmers would seek if they had a chance and that I listed in the previous paragraph, in many circumstances are contradictory to conserving nature. Would they sacrifice income, or production, or less physical exertion, if it were necessary to avoid a negative impact on the environment?  I am not sure they all would.</p> <h3><em>“Would farmers sacrifice income, or production, or less physical exertion, if it were necessary to avoid a negative impact on the environment?”</em></h3> <p>How, then, could society incentivize resource conservation so it is aligned with farmers’ probable preferences? We return to the start of this note: I believe that smallholders’ decisions are largely informed by their culture, their capabilities, and the set of incentives (positive and negative) they face. Those are the three possible entry points for policies and programs that seek to incentivize and support resource-conserving livelihoods. </p> <p>But let me insist that smallholders make their living by using natural resources, and for them to use those resources in ways that are better for nature, they must be able to see the benefit of such a course of action; simple coercion does not work in the long run and, to start with, smallholders are already coerced enough by so many forces that they really do not need any more of that.</p> <p>A fundamental starting point is that society should secure the effective exercise of the most basic rights of smallholders as human beings, such as the right to food and to lead a healthy life, or the rights of women in smallholder households to make informed decisions by themselves and act upon them. This can only lead to a better relationship between smallholder communities and nature around them, because the expansion of such rights can remove or ease many of the reasons why smallholders may use natural resources in unsustainable ways.</p> <p>In second place, society can also improve the ways in which smallholders use natural resources by making available some goods and services that many of us take for granted but that many farmers lack in full or in part: roads and better access to cities, fairer and more transparent markets, enforcement of labour laws and regulations (many smallholder households depend in part on wage labour which in rural areas often happens under appalling conditions), access to credit, and so on. Such “public goods” dramatically expand the range of options that smallholders have, and often reduce the relative attractiveness of activities that deteriorate the environment.</p> <p>One “public good” that is often forgotten is political rights. Smallholders need to be able to exercise such rights if they are going to have the voice and power to control the access and use of natural resources that belong to them by law or by custom. If rural communities do not have a say in crafting and enforcing the rules that determine who uses those resources and how they are used, the end result most often will be misuse by those who may not have the right, but have the power. </p> <h3><em>“Smallholders deserve to be seen and treated as persons with equal rights, but also with duties and obligations.”</em></h3> <p>In addition, collective action through community- or resource-based or economic organizations is a particularly powerful tool because it can open ways of using resources that are completely blocked for individual and isolated smallholders.</p> <p>Access to an expanded range of forms of knowledge and to resource-conserving technologies can also be quite effective, as long as those technologies also make sense to smallholders from a cultural and economic point of view.</p> <p>However, I don’t believe that the above types of actions are enough, because smallholders do have an incentive to use resources in ways that maximize their short-term, private interests. Like you and me, smallholders love birds and trees and beautiful flowing rivers, but as you well know, when it comes to human beings such love is not enough to prevent us from hunting the bird, cutting the tree, or diverting the river if we can derive a benefit and we can get away with it. </p> <p>This brings us to my final message. Well-enforced laws and regulations that constrain certain innovations or that limit the use that can be made of resources are necessary. Smallholders deserve to be seen and treated as persons with equal rights, but also with duties and obligations. In the world of Oxfam’s “What ifs...”, smallholders are citizens, pure and simple. That is development.</p> <p>Download: <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/farmers-do-not-come-from-mars-berdegue-dec2012.pdf" target="_blank">Farmers do not come from Mars</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Day 7: Farmers do not come from Mars</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-12-10-jour-7-les-agriculteurs-ne-viennent-pas-de-mars" title="Jour 7: Les agriculteurs ne viennent pas de Mars" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-12-18-dia-7-los-agricultores-no-vienen-de-marte" title="Día 7: Los agricultores no vienen de Marte" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 17 Dec 2012 23:00:01 +0000 Dr. Julio A. Berdegué 10161 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-12-18-day-7-farmers-do-not-come-mars#comments Land grabs: Debunking the World Bank’s ‘bigger baddies’ argument http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-11-16-land-grabs-debunking-world-bank-bigger-baddies-argument <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Last month Oxfam launched our <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/landgrabs" rel="nofollow">land grabs action</a>, targeting the World Bank.</strong> So far <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/2012/10/04/world-bank-group-statement-oxfam-report-our-land-our-lives?cid=EXT_TWBN_D_EXT" rel="nofollow"><strong>they’re not shifting their policy</strong></a> and agreeing to freeze their large land deals, so over the next few weeks we’re going to explore the reasons that they’re giving.</p> <p>One reason that they put forward is that they’re not the right target on this issue, that they’re not really involved in the area of land. This is their “there are bigger baddies” argument.  Oxfam agrees that the World Bank isn’t the only – or even the worst – actor. However, considering the World Bank’s investment in agriculture has increased from $2.5 billion in 2002 to $6-8 billion in 2012, we don’t buy that none of that involves potentially problematic large-scale land acquisition.</p> <p>In reality we know that there are very likely more than a few controversial cases relating to land. 21 cases involving land disputes have been brought by communities since 2008 (Oxfam is involved as a complainant in a number of them). And according to the Bank’s own statistics, the number of disputes relating to agribusiness have been growing in the past four years.</p> <p><strong>Given the Bank’s mandate for <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/2012/10/12/remarks-world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-annual-meeting-plenary-session" rel="nofollow">tackling poverty</a></strong>, even one land-grab case is a case too many. The World Bank should be helping to tackle the causes of hunger, not adding to the problems by being involved in deals that can result in communities being forced from the land that they rely on to grow the food they need.</p> <p>So, while the World Bank may not the be worst culprit when it comes to land-grabbing, it is a crucial institution for setting the bar high in this critical area. In other words, we believe that if Oxfam can’t convince the World Bank to raise its standards, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to get other financing institutions to do so. If the Bank takes leadership, we hope we can use this example of the Bank being a force for good to leverage change in other institutions, from regional development banks to private investors.</p> <p>After a fantastic launch of the campaign we think that there is still a big chance to influence the Bank and their new President Jim Kim. Despite their current public stance, the actions of thousands of people have really made them sit up and listen at their highest levels. When the World Bank asked on Twitter, “#whatwillittake to end poverty?” you deluged them with tweets and Facebook comments asking them to help stop land grabs.</p> <p>This forced World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte to make time to join Oxfam in person <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/the-reality-about-the-land-grab-issue-and-the-world-bank-group?cid=EXT_TWBN_D_EXT" rel="nofollow"><strong>for a debate</strong></a> during their annual meetings last month. And they’re making a point of coming out publicly through blogs and <a href="https://twitter.com/WorldBank/status/254249010003582976" rel="nofollow"><strong>Twitter</strong></a> to defend their reasons why they’re not budging. This means we need to keep up the pressure and insist that they act now.</p> <h3>Take action</h3> <p>&gt; <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/landgrabs" rel="nofollow">Sign the petition to the president of the World Bank</a></strong></p> <h3><strong>Related links</strong></h3> <p><strong>&gt; </strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/campaigns/land-grabs-qa" rel="nofollow"><strong>Land grabs Q&amp;A</strong></a></p> <p><strong>&gt; Read the report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/our-land-our-lives" rel="nofollow">‘Our Land, Our Lives’: Time out on the global land rush</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Land grabs: Debunking the World Bank’s ‘bigger baddies’ argument</h2></div> Fri, 16 Nov 2012 16:01:24 +0000 Ian Sullivan 10049 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-11-16-land-grabs-debunking-world-bank-bigger-baddies-argument#comments Not just another boring G20 petition http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-06-08-not-just-another-boring-g20-petition <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>OK, so petitions aren't exactly novel.</strong> In fact they were used back in the 19th century by the <a href="http://www.mce.k12tn.net/civil_war/abolitionists.htm" rel="nofollow"><strong>abolitionists</strong></a> (as were most modern campaign methods, with the exception of blogging, I guess). But the reason we still use them is because they work – petitions show how much the public cares about an issue, and they provide evidence for the good guys and scare the bad guys. We've seen them work before, let's make it happen again – dear reader, you can make a difference!</p> <p>This November, leaders of the world's biggest economies, the <strong>G20</strong>, are <a href="http://www.g20-g8.com/g8-g20/g20/english/home.9.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>meeting in France</strong></a> – with a focus on agriculture. In the midst of a <a href="http://www.worldbank.org/foodcrisis/" rel="nofollow"><strong>global food crisis</strong></a> that is pushing millions into poverty, this is our best opportunity to push for emergency solutions to fix the crisis before it gets even worse. But they won't be moved to action unless we can make some serious noise.</p> <p>What should world leaders do fix the crisis? You can read the key asks the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/grow" rel="nofollow"><strong>GROW</strong></a> campaign is pushing for and <a href="http://oxf.am/g20act" rel="nofollow"><strong>sign the petition here</strong></a>, but in brief:</p> <p><strong>Increase transparency</strong>: Governments should agree to provide transparent information on the status of food stocks, including from major private sector traders and investors, national/regional reserves (as well as current and predicted supply, demand and export capacity.) Why? Because such information deters <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/jun/08/speculation-hunger-global-food-trade" rel="nofollow"><strong>speculation</strong></a>, squashes unfounded rumors and helps alert everyone to impending problems.</p> <p><strong>Regulate financial speculation</strong>: G20 governments should establish a regulatory framework to ensure futures markets operate in a fair and transparent manner, without market abuse and excessive speculation. Price limits, position limits and restrictions on passive speculation should be introduced or strengthened, and existing loopholes should be closed.</p> <p><strong>Biofuels</strong>: G20 governments should stop turning food grains into fuel by phasing out their biofuel targets and subsidies and by urgently exploring options for "safety valve” measures that place limits on biofuel production, when global stocks are running dangerously low.</p> <p><strong>Investment</strong>: G20 members should deliver on their previous financial promises to invest in small-scale farming and provide safety nets to people who cannot produce or buy enough food.</p> <p><strong>Climate adaptation</strong>: Developed countries should reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2020 to avoid catastrophic and irreversible <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/issues/climate-change" rel="nofollow"><strong>climate change</strong></a> and provide adequate resources – at least $100 billion per year – to poor countries to adapt to climate change.</p> <p>Taking these critical actions are just the first steps world leaders need to take to stabilize the crisis – then they need to tackle the root causes of the problem.</p> <p>The GROW campaign will be there to push them on the solutions we need to live, grow and share better – and <strong>you can be part of it today by signing this urgent <a href="http://oxf.am/g20act" rel="nofollow">petition to the G20</a> for emergency action to fix the food crisis</strong>.</p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Not just another boring G20 petition</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blog/11-06-08-no-es-otra-aburrida-peticion-al-g20-mas" title="No es otra aburrida petición al G20 más" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blog/11-06-08-encore-une-de-ces-petitions-ennuyantes-non" title="G20 : encore une de ces pétitions ennuyantes ? Non !" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 12:15:29 +0000 Duncan Green 9980 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blog/11-06-08-not-just-another-boring-g20-petition#comments