I write on behalf of North East CALL TO ACTION, to our knowledge the only region-wide grouping of its kind in the UK, to ask whether you would be so kind as to outline your stance on global poverty and climate change, by answering the questions listed below.
It is our hope that your response will be such that we can make them known to our many supporters, so that they can include such considerations when deciding how to vote. We intend to urge them to exercise their democratic right in this election.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for being willing to stand in the election!
With best wishes,
Dr David Golding CBE (sgd)
Development Coordinator, North East CALL TO ACTION
Questions for Candidates in the European Elections, 2014
Climate change is already wreaking havoc in the poorest countries and, according to Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-Chair of Working Party III (“Mitigation of Climate Change”) of the IPCC,
“Climate policies in line with the two degree Celsius goal need to aim for substantial emission reductions…This is the clear message of the science.”
Our question: “Do you accept this ‘clear message’, and will support such ‘climate policies’?”
GLOBAL POVERTY & TRANSPARENCY
Our question: “If elected, will you supporting greater transparency in the accounts and ownership of multinational companies, so that all governments can make sure they are receiving the tax they are owed?”
‘Publish What You Pay’
On 12th June 2013, the European Parliament voted in new laws requiring oil, gas and mining companies to publish what they pay to foreign governments.
Our question: “Will you support the rapid implementation of this legislation, without any watering down, and will you support the EU in pressing for the adoption of such laws by other countries?”
‘Audit the Debts’
Our question: “Will you support the impartial audit of debts owed by developing countries to the EU and its members – just as Norway is already doing, and as the SNP is promising to do if Scotland becomes independent?”
Climate Change: Representatives of all the world’s governments “met in Berlin from 7th-12th April 2014. They approved the ‘Summary for Policymakers’ of Working Group III of the IPCC… and accepted the underlying scientific assessment”. [Source, www.mitigation2014.org]
Tax Justice: According to Angel Gurrier, Secretary General of the OECD, “Developing countries are estimated to lose to tax havens almost three times what they get from developed countries in aid. If taxes on assets hidden by tax dodgers were collected, billions of dollars could become available for financing development” (27th November, 2008).
Publish What You Pay: The developing world lost nearly $1 trillion due to illicit financial flows in 2011. These capital outflows stem from crime, tax evasion and other illicit activity. [Source: Global Financial Integrity Report (December 2013)] “It’s hard to tell where Africa’s wealth goes when there’s a lack of accountability and public scrutiny – and corruption is shrouded in secrecy. That’s why the best way of tackling it is to maximise transparency.” (Bishop Munga, Christian Council of Tanzania)
Audit the Debts: The British public responded with great generosity to the devastation in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan, donating over £50 million. Yet the shocking truth is that the country’s massive debt burden means that twice this amount leaves the country each and every week to pay off debts – many inherited from the corrupt dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980s, who ruled by martial law. This is only one example of the need for fair and transparent audits, by internationally recognised criteria, to determine whether debts are legitimate and payable.
Download pdf version of this text here: EuropeanElec2014_Lettertocandidates