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Use and abuse of tax breaks: how tax incentives become harmful

Taxation is essential to raise sufficient, equitable and accountable financing for development. Only through taxation can governments fund public spending on the essential services at the quality and scale necessary to realise the rights of all citizens. Yet many Southern governments decide not to tax certain corporations and companies in the hope that this will attract cross-border investment. Despite mounting evidence that the practice of offering tax incentives is both largely ineffective and detrimental to development, it is widespread. This report explains how tax incentives can become harmful, and discusses what can be done to stop their abuse.

Counting the cost: A year of climate breakdown

2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record. Extreme weather hit every populated continent in 2018. The economic cost ran high – into the billions – but the human cost was higher: injury, death and displacement. This report looks at 10 of the most destructive weather events of 2018, across countries rich and poor, and their devastating consequences.

Briefing paper: 'Sinking Cities, Rising Seas'

What this paper is about This paper looks at eight city case studies across Asia, Africa, the UK and the United States, including cities most vulnerable to climate change. It explores: some of the underlying reasons for those cities' vulnerability the additional impact that climate change will have on their people

Questionable Values? Policy Report

Why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. Following the hurricanes Irma and Maria that devastated a number of Caribbean islands in September this year, the focus has rightly been on supporting the hardest hit and those in greatest need. But as the rebuilding effort develops, many are starting to think more deeply about the long-term sustainability of these islands’ economies, and their ability to protect and provide for their populations in an economically and climatically uncertain future. What type of jobs, and what type of economy, should places such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) be looking to build? This is a question that extends beyond the storm-hit Caribbean. Defensive measures against tax evasion and avoidance are on the rise in the US, the EU and emerging economies, driven in part by the exposure of these activities in successive leaks of information (most recently, the Paradise Papers). Such developments call into question the sustainability of any economic model that relies on providing various combinations of secrecy and low taxation. So far, many small offshore centres, and their supporters, have largely reacted defensively to the threat of change, arguing that media coverage has unfairly maligned ‘tax havens’; that the problem is not as large as portrayed; and that they are already instituting tax and transparency standards better than many large ‘onshore’ economies. However, careful scrutiny of one of the most comprehensive efforts to explain the role of international finance centres and to illustrate the impact that such a territory has on the global economy – the prominent report that the government-backed financial lobby group, BVI Finance, commissioned this year from consultancy firm Capital Economics – demonstrates major weaknesses in the arguments and conclusions presented, and suggests to us that such defences are more concerned with maintaining the status quo than a genuine concern for the wider global economy. Our analysis of the Capital Economics report is an example of why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. With public demand building for new regulation, and the ever-present threat of further mass leaks, the UK Government needs to initiate a serious discussion about alternative economic pathways for the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. Alternative futures for offshore tax havens are not only vital for the poorest countries of the world that lose tax revenues each year to the offshore system, but also for the ordinary women and men in places like the BVI, for whom a secure future is dependent on the creation of robust, equitable and sustainable economies.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire (Part 1)

In this policy briefing, Christian Aid examines the links between climate change and conflict, and begins to elaborate on its argument that the best form of climate security is climate justice.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire (Part 2)

A debilitating drought may bring riots and social unrest in one country, but in a neighbouring country, the same problem may be dealt with by citizen mobilisation towards collective action solutions. To a large extent, governance capacity and community resilience explains the nature and structure of the response. In this report, three case studies – from Angola, Mali, and Honduras – of actual responses to climate change and conflict are presented.

Challenges in the Sahel: Implications for peace and development

A ‘perfect storm’ - an extraordinary combination of poverty, violent conflict, corruption, criminality, and climate change - is blowing over Mali and across the Sahel. Within this storm, some unusual actors have emerged. Politicians are known to be corrupt but still get elected and smugglers are criminalised by authorities but are also the only providers of employment in disintegrating local economies. This report is part of a series that Christian Aid is producing to understand what ought to be done differently in tackling violence and building peace.

Paris 2015: getting a global agreement on climate change

This joint-NGO publication gives a guide to the global deal and shows that an ambitious and fair deal is possible with the right political will.  

Benefits? Tax Incentives in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish)

Overview of the use of tax incentives that analyses whether or not tax incentives bring benefits to countries and communities.(Spanish)

Tipping the energy balance

This paper explores the nature and scope of energy financing in six key developing countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Kenya and Malawi.

Time for climate justice 16 - universal climate agreement (Spanish)

This briefing presents our vision for the Paris Agreement. We address the essential outcomes for a universal climate change agreement. We are calling for the world leaders to signal a turning point in the global approach to climate action and to outline clearly the next steps for strengthening the climate regime.  

Final evaluation of the LEARN project - Ghana

Action for Local Employment, Accountability and Resource Mobilisation (LEARN) was an EU-funded project in Ghana implemented by Christian Aid and its partners.The overall objective was to support actions aimed at promoting an inclusive and empowered Ghana.Action for Local Employment, Accountability and Resource Mobilisation (LEARN) was an EU-funded project in Ghana by Christian Aid and its partners.This report presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the project’s final evaluation.

Time for climate justice - Lima climate talks - the road to Paris

In 2014, 195 governments meet in Lima to negotiate the next crucial steps in crafting the global climate agreement to be agreed in Paris, in 2015.