Civil Society Network on Climate Change (Cisonecc) has urged government to consider channelling carbon tax proceeds towards the Climate Change Fund for disaster recovery response operations.
Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) started implementing the carbon tax on November 25 2019, targeting motor vehicles renewing their annual Certificate of Fitness (COF), thereby generating K600 million, which CSOs believe if spent specifically on recovery efforts, the country could sustain economic growth.
Cisonecc national coordinator Julius Ng’oma made the call on Monday on the sidelines of a stakeholders engagement meeting on government processes on climate change and adaptation saying government needs to act swiftly to capitalise the fund.
He said: “We feel if the fund can be capitalised through carbon tax, then disaster adaptation response initiatives will be accelerated in communities.
“This will eventually help the economy to recover quickly and build a strong resilient foundation for mitigating future disasters.”
Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change chairperson Halima Daudi said government has no choice but to capitalise the Climate Change Fund using carbon tax whose purpose globally has been on climate change resilience activities.
She said: “We have always argued that the carbon tax should be spent on post-disaster recovery response purposes.
“There should be fairness to ensure even government vehicles should pay this carbon tax to ensure we generate more revenue. We will push for accountability of the funds to ensure they serve the intended purpose”.
Last December, President Peter Mutharika told a United Nations (UN) Climate Summit in Spain that Malawi needs K270 billion to recover from natural disasters caused by climate change.
Minister of Finance Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha, who introduced the carbon tax in the current budget, ealier said: “As we go on, we may consider allocating more funds towards environment-related initiatives, but we are already doing a lot to support environment-related initiatives.”