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Biscay to introduce world’s first tax system to explicitly meet SDGs 25/5/2020
The Biscay Government will become the world’s first administration to introduce a tax regime that rewards investment which meets sustainable development goals (SGDs), it was announced Friday, May 22.
 
Its government will sign a collaboration agreement with University College London (UCL) to develop a fiscal policy in accordance with the SDGs set in the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.
 
While many of the world’s governments have committed to supporting the SDGs, none have formally introduced tax incentives in law to help meet the goals.
 
The Biscay Government say this will not just be one single tax – such as an energy tax, for example – but cover the whole fiscal system. The Biscay Government and UCL will develop a framework for fiscal growth and institutional transformation, including economic growth covering health, the environment, equality and education.
 
The Biscay Government will create guidelines for a tax framework through the partnership with UCL, led by the economist and professor Mariana Mazzucato of Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.
 
The Biscay Government will support the agreement with a contribution of half a million euros, and hopes to have the first conclusions ready by the beginning of the year 2021.
 
The collaboration with UCL will allow defining a fiscal policy in accordance with the SDGs and that responds to challenges in three strategic areas for Biscay:
 
* The demographic challenge (population aging, gender equality, low birth rate, migration and the sustainability of public and private pension programs).
 
* Climate change (the environment, social welfare, the recovery of degraded areas, the reduction of the climate footprint, the reorientation of the economy and the recovery of waters and rivers).
 
* The development of economic activity, attracting companies and talent, dependence on the energy sector and the search for industrial companies that help address the new global challenges.
 
Another goal is that the approach becomes a transferable model to other tax jurisdictions that want to apply the same approach to their policies.
 
Asier Alea, spokesperson for the Biscay Government, said:
“We are delighted to announce the intention to introduce the world’s first tax system that explicitly meet SDGs. This collaboration also comes at a time when the current economic and social situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic requires the adoption of efficient fiscal instruments to guarantee that the process of economic recovery is allied to the creation of more sustainable and inclusive wealth. Because of the pandemic, we are not going to have much money to spend – so we need to look at different ways of how are we going to tackle economic growth and make it sustainable.”
 
UCL already works closely with the UN on an innovation roadmap to meet the SDGs, placing it in a prime position in the field of academic research and SDG practice.
 
 
 
 
 
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