Mauritius plans 2% ‘climate levy’ on businesses
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Mauritius plans 2% ‘climate levy’ on businesses

Small island nation needs to raise $6.5 billion for climate adaptation and mitigation

Blue Bay on the southeast coast of Mauritius. (Photo: Z Thomas via Wikimedia Commons)
Blue Bay on the southeast coast of Mauritius. (Photo: Z Thomas via Wikimedia Commons)

Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation grappling with flash floods and erosion, plans to introduce a 2% climate levy on company profits to finance projects fighting climate change, according to Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy.

Proceeds of the corporate responsibility levy will be used “to support national initiatives to protect, manage, invest and restore the country’s natural ecosystem and combat the effects of climate change”, he told lawmakers during a budget presentation in Port Louis, the capital, on Friday.

Companies with annual sales of less than 50 million rupees (US$1.06 million) would be exempted, he said.

The nation of 1.26 million people is experiencing more climate change-related events and needs to mobilise 300 billion rupees ($6.5 billion) to meet adaptation and mitigation goals. Earlier this year, flash floods brought the capital to a halt, shuttering banks and markets.

Tourism is a key source of foreign currency for the country that expects more than $2 billion in earnings from visitors this year. More than 37 kilometres of coastline is eroded, according to the finance minister.

“We cannot remain insensitive while we see our pristine beaches being washed out, our coral reefs being destroyed and our lagoons and forests” destroyed, Padayachy said.

For starters, about 3.2 billion rupees earmarked for the new climate fund will help rehabilitate about 26km of shoreline and 30 degraded sites, he said.

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