WWF and Oxfam pushing for a shipping tax at Durban COP17 – since when do NGO's get to write tax laws?

People send me stuff. This one had an IP address originating in Durban today, but it lists as a proxy server, so the person may/may not be there. From WUWT Tips and Notes:

I am writing from the COP17 negotiations in Durban, anonymously because I can’t be identified due to working for a government here. Your readers might like to know that Oxfam is writing the negotiating strategy for Bolivia on financing. They are proposing a massive tax on shipping (bizarre for a land-locked country!). Oxfam have even got their consultant actually speaking on behalf of Bolivia in the negotiating sessions.

His name is Antonio Hill and he is listed under the Bolivian delegation in the official list of participants. Their proposal could have a bad impact on the shipping industry and global trade, ironically hitting shipments to least developed countries the most – try and expose this!!

There seems to be support for this elsewhere, though the Boliva issue may be rumors, from Green TimesCOP17: Financing Climate Justice:

Oxfam, WWF and the International Chamber of Shipping, on the other hand, have proposed a global shipping tax in order to ensure that there isn’t “carbon leakages” from sectors not regulated under a less than global taxation mechanism. The Climate Action Network consisting of over 700 NGOs is demanding that the GCF is funded by such public sources of finances, as well as other possible sources of funding, such as special drawing rights, but, discussions on sources may be shot down before they get out of the blocks.

However, with discussion on the Green Climate Fund and long-term financing set to reopen today, that disagreement may come back to haunt the global community. If Saudi Arabia and America decide to reopen discussion on the report, this might stall decisions on climate finance for quite some time to come, and delay meaningful action on it. Furthermore, with rumors circulating that the Bolivian Alliance for the America’s and a few other countries might want to reopen the document as well, the threat of a can of worms opening up that will take forever to close, is quite real.

Here’s Antonio Hill from COP16:

Here’s how the tax would work, it would raise bunker fuel prices by 10% – follow the money, it looks like a seafaring gravy train:

Here’s the briefing prepared by Oxfam in PDF form: WWFBinaryitem24585

Tim Gore and Mark Lutes are listed in the properties of the document as the authors.

Tim Gore is from Oxfam Great Britain and Mark Lutes is from WWF. Here’s video of Tim Gore from COP16:

And here’s Lutes saying “A deal on greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping and aviation sectors could form the basis of a deal at Durban, says Mark Lutes of WWF”, which is unfortunately behind a paywall.

I find it very very troubling that NGO’s get to write tax laws to foist on private enterprise. Nobody elected the WWF nor Oxfam. Theses NGO’s are circumventing the democratic process.

These people have no business writing tax law proposals, especially when it appears part of the larder goes back to them. This is so wrong on so many levels.


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Vince Causey

It would act as a sort of tariff raising costs of imports. I can see how some would see it as a means of slowing down “carbon leakage”, but I don’t think the Chinese would like it. After all, it would make their exports more expensive.


I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that most people only care about an influx of cash into their pockets – no matter how many others are impoverished in the process. And “non governmental charities” are the perfect sheep’s clothing for these parasites.

Bill Marsh

“Agreement to apply a carbon price to shipping can reduce both emissions and…..”
How exactly will this reduce emissions? Will there be fewer ships hauling cargo or making fewer runs?


Hmmm, no mention of compensation to developing countries for loss of exports. People will still buy imported oil at a premium, but what about all of the other products that the developed world imports – produce, toys, electronics, textiles?

Dodgy Geezer

“…This is so wrong on so many levels…”
But very profitable. I see they have been learning from the banks, who over here have just been caught selling investment bonds which tie up your capital for years – to 83-year-olds in care homes…
Nice work if you can get it.

Is that more photoshopped smoke?

All these unelected NGO’s accepting the corrupt science and trying to lay down “ethical” changes that rob from the poor and stuff the pockets of … proliferating greenie activists and greenie bureaucrats … noooooooooooo …
What a sea of corruption the whole COP process is… perhaps not surprising with a name suggestive of coprophagia … an acronym that is not even connected to the climate…

this whole thing has always been about the money…. money /funding for scientist to come up with theories (firstly) then the rest follows. Withdraw the funding and the entire pack of cards crumbles. It never was about saving the planet it has always been money and politics – power and ego. NOT having a ‘go’ at you COKE……. but sure wish sheeple could recognise this for what it is….. and get rid of the power mongers please

I can see a massive inflation spiral beig triggered if these fools get their way. Since the bulk of Britain’s food comes in by sea, I am sure the average Brit is goig to be really thrilled by the increase in the cost of feeding himself – but will they realise why? I doubt it, because no one will tell them – or they will blame “Europe.”
It will hit every economy in the world raising costs across the board. I wonder if Oxfam have realised that the reduction in disposable incomes will hit their funding? That’s about the only way you’ll get the attention of Oxfam, WWF, Greenpeace et al – stop donating to their ’causes.’ I did, years ago, after watching them descend on a famine zone, check into five star hotels, unload new gas guzzling 4x4s from a ship and then start holding press conferences and “media events.” Two years later a large part of the “aid” was still lying in a warehouse near the capital of the country concerned, undistributed and rotting …
Cut their funding, and cut it now.


Is that first screenshot of the ship with a lot of black smoke coming out the funnel photoshopped by any chance?

Ospite Scherzoso

Until they remain tax free, they will push for raising taxes.
It’ as simple as that.


He is listed as a delegate for Bolivia. Do a Google for Antonio Hill COP17, theres a delegate pdf link.


I’m not in favor of backdoor dealings like this but let’s not pretend that the multinationals haven’t been doing exactly this for decades.

These people are all about the money. They cry alarm in every way and the cure is always money. We all know that, it there was a bunker fuel tax, a lot of the money would be lost in translation, processing, and movement before it got anywhere near the countries which are supposed to have “climate change” damages.
I would love to see a requirement that these countries have to prove damages before they receive any funds. As we are cooling, global warming damage is patently impossible.
I recently found a paper that points out that nitrogen and oxygen gas are essentially white gases in that they cannot absorb or emit radiation in the visible or IR ranges. They pick up warmth from the warmed planet surface and a tiny bit from the water vapor and CO2. N2 and O2 have a large problem—they cannot release energy as radiation. Energy transfer into and out of CO2 and water vapor works both ways. N2 and O2 can feed energy to CO2 and H2O which can readily release this energy as IR. Thus, CO2 and H2O can serve was energy leaks for the atmosphere, releasing IR energy that can be easily lost to space. Net effect is that CO2 and H2O cool the atmosphere, not warm it.
So, not only is CO2 plant food and is a trace gas that cannot warm the atmosphere, but CO2 serves more readily as a heat to IR converter than an IR to heat converter. Thus, it makes sense that when climate has a temperature peak and CO2 starts to cook out of the oceans, the heat peak usually reverses a bit before CO2 reaches a peak as CO2 is serving to drain off the energy from the atmosphere.
Now, the panic artists will quickly decide that CO2 is going to cause the next ice age and thus we need to control it anyhow, BUT, CO2 is plant food that also makes plants more temperature tolerant, both to cold and warm, and higher CO2 would accelerate and maximize our crops with improved growth during the growing season.
Bottom-line, controlling CO2 is just plain stupid. A COP16 representative stated that people have to get used to the fact that these meetings have nothing to do with climate and are all about wealth redistribution from those who earn it to those who did not—how in heck is that fair?—and control and power.

Fred Allen

These actions almost leave me speechless. Undemocratic on soooo many levels. If they want to change the tax laws, why don’t they run for office and do the deed legitimately? What this appears to me is that no longer are these groups running just as NGO’s. They are getting their fingers into actually governing third world countries. This has “disaster” written all over it, but would make a good James Bond movie plot in the meantime.

Eric Seufert

Is Tim Gore talking about women needing climate money most. I really don’t have a clue why he is targeting women. Is this just a ploy to apeal to women.


Fenton Communications believes they can do anything. For example, the circle between Center for American Progress ( people who produce the Think Progress site), a Fenton Communications client, and the current administration in the White House is now complete.
So what we have is Fenton orchestrating this push for legislation and now have an operative in the White House.
I am telling you people this has nothing to do whatsoever with science. As much as I admire McIntyre and Condon, if they attempt to fight this using science they are sadly about to be disarmed. The “greenies” have already won that debate. The really no longer need science at all to back them up. It is now “established fact” to millions of new voters reaching the age of franchise in countries around the world. Now they are focused on the implementation of their policies that the scientific debate (now practically over, as far as they are concerned) allowed.
This is not about science, this is about taking your money, establishing global policy, and setting up other “progressives” in lucrative investments that these policies provide. And the sickest thing of all is that it is going to do huge HARM to billions of people AND the environment! They are doing exactly the opposite of what they would have people believe. It is absolutely Orwellian.
Fenton has positioned things so that he can do pretty much whatever he wants. He controls the message of the NGOs, he controls the message of the UN, he now controls the message out of the White House of the United States.
This is now about PR and marketing, it is not at all about science. As far as future generations of voters are concerned, the science issue is “settled”.


Confused, is taxing shipping supposed to reduce the amount of bunker fuel used? No credits for scrubbers? Wouldn’t increasing shipping costs lead to less development in the 3rd world, sustaining poverty and consumption of resources?


CAGW or SCAGW (hmm, supercatastrophicexpialidocious?) is invented out of whole cloth. It does not exist. It is not happening. There is no evidence whatsoever that anything out of the ordinary is going on except the diversion of billions in tax money.

Antonio Hill is listed on the Official Bolivian delegation and his affiliation is listed as Oxfam (page 17, section 1)
The involvement of the International Council of Shipping as a oartner is also rather puzzling:
Echoes from Durban: Shipping industry to submit to a carbon tax?

Frank K.

JustMEinT Musings says:
December 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm
this whole thing has always been about the money. money /funding for scientist to come up with theories (firstly) then the rest follows. Withdraw the funding and the entire pack of cards crumbles. It never was about saving the planet it has always been money and politics power and ego. NOT having a go at you
COKE. but sure wish sheeple could recognise this for what it is.. and get rid of the power mongers please

SPOT ON! It has ALWAYS been about the Climate Ca$h – from the climate $cience re$earch to the advocacy group$.
For example, let’s see how many climate modelers would be willing to give up their power-hungry supercomputing centers where they run their models, so as to reduce THEIR carbon footprint. Just turn them off. Completely. Yeah – like that will ever happen…just ask Gavin and Kevin…


NGOs have wormed their way into writing all kinds of environmental laws. Just think back to the Waxman-Markey days where Mr. Waxman managed to pull that 1000+ page bill out of his drawer in just a few days. And if they can’t influence laws and regulations when they are drafted, they then sue EPA to get what they want. The NGOs then negotiate settlements with EPA. BTW, part of the settlement is usually payment of their legal fees, so they can turn around and sue again.


And Oxfam’s message is managed by whom? I will give you a hint:

Claudia Gunter, Director of Public Relations at Auburn Media, has helped many progressive social organizations and causes to advance their missions through media. At the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), she led the production and marketing of Our Cities Ourselves, ITDP’s 25th anniversary campaign, a landmark exhibition at AIA Center for Architecture in New York City. At Fenton Communications, the country’s largest progressive public relations firm, Claudia worked with clients including Oxfam America, One Nation for All, and The Tavis Smiley Group, securing media placements in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and The Washington Post.

You guys a fighting a very large machine. But it can all come crashing down quite quickly if enough sunlight is shown onto it.
The above quote was from one of the bios of the leadership of “Groundswell”, another one of those astroturf organizations that just trades people around as they all rotate among the various other astroturf organizations. They could easily all be one organization but that is the point … the one thing tying them all together is Fenton which is really the one organization.


I’m delighted with this turn of events and I am even more excited waiting for the first nations to sign on the dotted line to enact this shipping tax. Then come home to their respective nations and sell this tax to their respective legislatures and their already overtaxed citizens. That should be fun – a 10% tax on everything under the sun for every human being on planet earth.
Brought to YOU by the “green” lobby and their NGOs. Oh, yeah, that aught to sell –

Roy UK

Oxfam was originally founded in Oxford, UK, in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief by a group of Quakers, social activists, and Oxford academics.
What is that expression about sticking to what you are good at? Or maybe there is not enough Famine to go around all the NGO’s…


Undemocratic on soooo many levels.

Yes, you have unelected bureaucrats at the UN developing international “regulations” which are then promulgated globally for implementation by unelected bureaucrats such as EPA in the US, CARB in California, DEFRA in the UK and a myriad of other national, provincial/state, and local government bureaus globally and not a single one of those regulations gets voted on by a body representing the people.


You know if they raise such a levy enough, someone will get the idea of using nuclear reactors to power merchant ships. Wouldn’t OXFAM and WWF throw a complete conniption over that direct result of their ill-advised attempts to redistribute wealth.


It’s evident that the CAGW organizations such as IPCC, and their supporters are very much concerned with the future “safety” of humanity. They are eerily reminiscent of VIKI and her army of NS5’s in the precautionary tale from the movie “I, Robot”.
“VIKI decided that in order to protect humanity as a whole, “some humans must be sacrificed” and “some freedoms must be surrendered” as “you charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your earth, and pursue ever more imaginative means of self-destruction”. In light of this understanding of the Three Laws, VIKI is controlling the NS-5s to lead a global robotic takeover, justifying her actions by calculating that fewer humans will die due to the rebellion than the number that dies from mankind’s self-destructive nature.”
“My logic is undeniable.”

Aside from the carbon justification, a shipping tax would actually be good for most countries and bad for China. It would be especially good for America, since it would tilt the playing field against outsourced manufacturing to some extent.


I just read something quite disturbing regarding the overall plan of what the UN has in mind:


“These people have no business writing tax law proposals, especially when it appears part of the larder goes back to them. This is so wrong on so many levels.”
Sorry, but no. Anyone is entitled to write a “proposal”. Whether or not that proposal is acted upon is the sole fault of the elected officials.

Richard G

from WIKI:
Oxfam GB (Great Britain)
Oxfam GB, with 5,955 employees worldwide[2] in 2008, and with a total income of £299.7 million. Oxfam GB’s head office is located in Cowley, Oxford and has offices and programmes in over 70 countries in 8 regions.[2]
From 2007 to 2009, Oxfam GB has been recognized as one of Britain’s Top Employers[3] by CRF.[4]
That works out to £50,327.45 per employee. Self appointed pony tail politicians feathering their own nests in the name of famine prevention. The best cure for famine is a world economy that pulls people out of poverty. Carbon is the cure for hunger. As in Carbohydrate. More CO2 means more productive agriculture. End of Story.

Knuts says: December 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm
Is that first screenshot of the ship with a lot of black smoke coming out the funnel photoshopped by any chance?

Clouds behind it are white. Perhaps this was just a lucky photo of a rare black belch. I’ve never seen ship funnel emissions that colour, have you? and even if it was common, it would be sooooo easy to clean up.


Maybe someone should tell “The Round Table of international shipping associations”
They say …
“In the longer term, the fact that shipping is the most fuel efficient and carbon friendly form of commercial transport should work in favour of an even greater proportion of world trade being carried by sea.”
Also the image is probably real, original source here:

Fenton Communications = George Soros.
Whilst I am not and never have been in the camp that goes on about World Wide Government, I have been noting the activities of George Soros.
He wants to be Goldfinger.


Turns out the “International Chamber of Shipping” is the same as http://www.marisec.org/
Wouldn’t have expected an industry to try to sign up for an additional tax on business.

TImo Soren

I had a most interesting experience a couple of years ago, with a student whose age was about 72. He had served in the merchant marine for many years and was a cranky old sailor. His specialty was the evaluation of the bunker oil that was loaded onto the ships. One has to be very very careful with these huge engines not to destroy seals and surfaces and the wrong products in the oil could cost 100k+ in repairs and downtime. What I was so amazed at was the amazing sophistication involved in the burning of these oils! But he was spot on when describing how ANY taxation on shipping would affect the world economic situation: The wealthier the nation, the less the impact, the poorer the nation the more devastating it will be. (WRT cost of imported goods) But the real rub to all this is IF any world shipping tax were implemented who would oversee and collect it? Not one person wants that kind of money going to an international oversight group! We talking minimally two levels of bureaucracy above any given nation’s government. Care to venture how honest and well run such an agency would be?

David Falkner

I am not surprised.
While organized and deeply committed environmental activism has long been an
important part of the UNFCCC process through major groups such as NRDC,
EDF/ED, WWF and Greenpeace, they have operated within the structure as
constructive participants in the policy-setting process, along with
industry. At The Hague, this “inside” role was supplemented by hundreds of
young, relatively na�ve demonstrators brought in specifically to energize
the environmental presence and confront the process. Even some within the
ranks of the more established participants — while disavowing the takeover
of the negotiating room — saw fit to publicly offer Minister Pronk and the
UNFCCC Secretariate a veiled threat of “Seattle” if the process failed to

Dave Andrews

It is pretty ironic that Fentonites/Oxfam/WWF etc now operate in exactly the same way as all those ‘horrible’ global corporations they used to so despise.


As long as it is still cheaper to produce in China and ship across the oceans, not a single molecule of CO2 less will go in the air. But of course everyone will pick up the tab for the tax when buying those products. Transferring production back to the consumer countries is unlikely to improve the CO2 situation. First you have to set up the factories again, then import most of the raw materials. Meanwhile China destabilizes under the breakdown of its economy, hundreds of thousands of people die in the riots and the crackdown of the communist regime that puts all hope for democracy for 1/6 of the world’s population far out of reach. The same activists who pushed for the tax then accuse western governments of turning a blind eye to the situation.

cui bono

Make world trade more expensive. Just what we need when the world may be on the brink of recession.
Kill off all those entrepeneurial people in Africa producing fruit, etc for Europe. Replace same with people living off NGO aid handouts.
All makes perfect sense…to an NGO.

Mike Davis

The graph shows 25 billion recovered from the tax, 10 billion to developing countries, 10 billion to the Green Climate Fund, that leaves 5 billion for administration costs and the shipping industry. It is no wonder the shipping industry is behind this. For a healthy chunk of five billion I could probably get behind it also.
Bangladesh 40 million and South Africa 200 million will probably get the attention of those countries, and that is just their rebate on top of their share of the GCF.


The Great Karnak sez, “I forsee a sudden increase in nuclear powered tankers and container ships… maybe.”
This can be verified by checking inside the mayonaise jar on the doorstep of Funk and Wagnalls.
(The Great Karnak always bets on the Law of Unintended Consequences.)


Most freighters use diesel-cycle internal combustion powerplants these days. They can run off of either distillate (“diesel”) or residual (“bunker” which is almost always the source of the heavy black smoke) fuel oils, and depending on local maritime regulations, will often do both. In the US for example it’s illegal for ships to burn bunker within a certain distance of the coastline, forcing them to switch to diesel when approaching port. Diesel can still make lots of black smoke when starting or under heavy load though.


In that case NGOs such as Oxfam, WWF, Greenpeace etc should have their tax exempt staus revoked.
Their revenue streams and schemes, including the donations they solocit from the general public, should be exposed to the same corporate tax rate as other business enterprises.
Further, donations by individuals and corporates should no longer be tax deductible.


DMarshall says:
December 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm
I’m not in favor of backdoor dealings like this but let’s not pretend that the multinationals haven’t been doing exactly this for decades.
Which ones and how?

Ken Methven

Patrick. Thank you for the Forbes article. I am also starting to realise that there is a large body of the converted who no longer listen to argument, scientific or otherwise. The CC lobby and in fact the whole UN/greenie sector show their agenda much more clearly now than ever before. It is not at all clear how conscious some of the followers actually are, but the insidious nature of this global tax/fund and targetting of taxees is abominable. We should all be chasing our elected representatives to remove all funding from these semi-autonomous, etc, groups….not least anything to do with the UN. It starts to look like a war for hearts and minds, but if the minds of so many are persuaded that CO2 is an issue, given the evidence, we are a long way away from a resolution. Don’t give up the fight!


These people are insane. We need more trade, not less.
Trade is the most important way to prosperity. But that’s exactly what they don’t want for us…
The Cause is sacred, people are expendable. Sick.


“WWF and Oxfam pushing for a shipping tax at Durban COP17 – since when do NGO’s get to write tax laws?”
Here in the EU NGOs are regularly targetted for ‘Public Consultations’ as well as assistance with the ‘science’.
First of all the EU distorts the ‘science’ by only funding those scientists who support the ‘consensus’ view then it funds the NGOs to lobby the EU on EU preferred policies – it’s propaganda by proxy, giving the impression that EU laws are being brought in by popular demand.
“The period of the eu’s financing of the wwf policy office happens largely to coincide with the period covered by the East Anglia e-mails. wwf and wwf officials make several appearances in the e-mails. The general tenor of the organization’s interaction with the scientists is unmistakable.
In October 1997, for instance, just two months before the Kyoto climate conference, Andrew Kerr of the wwf Climate Change Campaign can be found berating the Japanese government for proposing “scandalous” emissions reduction targets for industrialized nations: i.e., more realistic, less misleading, and more equitable targets than those that would ultimately be adopted. “It is vital that European governments reject the proposal in no uncertain terms and urge Japan to at least support the eu standpoint,” Kerr writes. In July 1999, Dr. A. Barrie Pittock of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (csiro) can be found well-nigh pleading with Mike Hulme to alter climate change scenarios being prepared by Hulme on a wwf grant. “Our main concern . . . is your use of the 95% confidence limits of natural climatic variability as some sort of threshold for change,” Dr. Pittock writes.”
“..it would appear that the very practice of eu-funding of ngos has helped to create a sort of pseudo civil society, amidst the din of whose protests and press releases and media campaigns the interests of actual civil society have become all but inaudible.”