Open Letter
We urge world leaders to implement policies of global redistribution!

We urge world leaders to implement policies to end poverty, halt global warming, and reduce inequality. 

To achieve the first Sustainable Development Goal and end extreme poverty by 2030, we need international transfers.[1] To foster decarbonization in lower-income countries, we need international transfers.[2] To make a decent life possible for all, we need international transfers. 

The gap between living standards in high-income countries, where 1.2 billion people live, and low-income countries, where 700 million people live, is staggering. GDP per capita is 66 times higher in high-income countries than in low-income countries.[3] A mere 1% of high-income countries’ GDP redirected to low-income countries would mechanically double their national income. A transfer of this magnitude can be financed by a modest 2% tax on individual wealth over €5 million, leaving 99.9% of the population unaffected.[4]

Overwhelming majorities around the world support global redistribution policies. A global tax on millionaires that would finance low-income countries is supported by at least 72% of the population in each of the 20 countries surveyed, including 73% in the U.S., 80% in Poland, 86% in France, and up to 90% in Italy.[5] When asked how much of the revenue from a global tax on millionaires should go to low-income countries, the average European, like the average American, says one third. 

Led by Brazil, the G20 is considering an international minimum tax of 2% on billionaire wealth.[6] While we support this initiative, we call for a more redistributive policy. Crucially, at least one-third of the revenue from an international wealth tax should go to low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Furthermore, the taxation threshold should be lowered so that not only billionaires but also millionaires are taxed. Finally, the tax rates should be more progressive, and higher for billionaires.

Such a wealth tax financing lower-income countries[7] is already supported by 20 lists standing in the EU elections (listed below), representing 64 Members of the European Parliament from 10 countries. Recently, EU Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell Fontelles also called for a global wealth tax and an unprecedented increase in global solidarity.[8] Now is the time to act.

At the next COP, the international community must set a New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance, as the $100 billion a year pledged by developed countries is far from sufficient to help the Global South fight climate change. The new goal should be at least $500 billion in transfers (not loans). This can be financed by a global wealth tax. At a time when wealth is only taxed in a handful of countries, there is a unique opportunity to tax wealth internationally, with a large share of the taxing rights attributed to the Global South. If the wealth tax revenues are first appropriated by the governments of high-income countries, it will be much more difficult to redirect them to lower-income countries at a later stage. 

Meanwhile, the needs of the impoverished populations should be addressed immediately, without waiting for a new tax or the fulfilment of promises.  The first demand of the V20, made up of 68 vulnerable countries, is debt relief.[9] Indeed, debt cancellation is urgently needed for these developing economies, on the verge of default since the COVID crisis and the rise in interest rates. We can no longer tolerate a situation where a country like Kenya has to spend 55% of its revenues on debt service,[10] at the expense of vital investments in education and sustainable development.

The implementation of adequate, predictable and needs-based transfers to the Global South should become the priority in all international negotiations. As such, the carbon levy on shipping being discussed at the International Maritime Organization should finance the Global South.[11] For example, the revenues generated could be shared equally among all countries on a per capita basis. 

This year, following a proposal by the African Union, the UN is creating a UN Framework Convention on International Tax Cooperation,[12] which, like the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will discuss international tax issues at Conferences of Parties (COPs). Let us make good on this historic rendezvous and develop a fair international tax regime to make rapid progress towards sustainable development.

We call on world leaders at the UN, G20, and COPs to examine global redistribution policies such as those outlined above. We urge policymakers to implement global policies that would redistribute at least $1 trillion per year (i.e., 1% of global income) from high-income countries to lower-income countries. This would be just a first step towards a less unequal world.

We are a diverse group of civil society organizations, scholars, politicians, and global citizens. Everyone is welcome to join our movement by endorsing this open letter, spreading its message, campaigning for global redistribution, or donating to the cause. We encourage European citizens to sign the European Citizens’ Initiative for a European Wealth Tax: one million signatures are needed to force the EU Commission to consider the proposal.

Global Redistribution Advocates
ACT Alliance
Attac France
Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)
Instituto de Estudos Socioeconomicos (Inesc, Brazil)
Les Écologistes – Europe Ecologie Les Verts
(France, The Greens)
La France Insoumise
(France, The Left)
Nouvelle Donne (France, S&D)
Sumar (Spain, The Left)
Muhammad Ashfaq (UN Tax Committee, Ex-Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue Pakistan)
Manon Aubry (MEP, La France Insoumise, France, The Left)
Saskia Bricmont (MEP, Ecolo, Belgium, The Greens/EFA)
Abdul Muheet Chowdhary (Member of the UN Subcommittee on Wealth and Solidarity Taxes)
Thomas Douenne (Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Amsterdam)
Camille Étienne (activiste pour le climat)
Adrien Fabre (CNRS Economist at CIRED)
Marc Fleurbaey (Professor at the Paris School of Economics)
Isabelle Ferreras (FNRS Professor at University of Louvain/Harvard CLJE)
Estrella Galán (Head of list for Sumar, Spain, The Left)
Jayati Ghosh (Co-chair of ICRICT, Professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Revd David Haslam (Church Action for Tax Justice)
Gabriela Martin (Senior Fellow at Open Diplomacy)
Mariana Mazzucato (Professor at the University College London)
Michael Pettis (Professor at Peking University)
Thomas Piketty (Professor of economics at the Paris School of Economics)
Rick van der Ploeg (Professor of economics at the University of Oxford)
Thomas Porcher (Professor at Paris School of Business)
Philippe Quirion (CNRS Research director at CIRED)
Marco Ranaldi (Assistant Professor of Economics at University College London)
Armon Rezai (Professor at Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Chloé Ridel (Candidate for the Socialist Party & Place Publique, France)
Nicolas Sansu (MP, PCF, France)
Andreas Schieder (MEP, SPÖ, Austria, S&D)
Marie Toussaint (MEP, EELV, France, The Greens)
Thomas Sterner (Professor of economics at the University of Gothenburg)
Pasquale Tridico (Candidate for the M5S, Italy, Professor of economics at Roma Tre University)
Yanis Varoufakis (Founder of DiEM25)

Renaissance – Besoin d’Europe
Parti Socialiste
Les Écologistes – Europe Ecologie Les Verts
Nouvelle Donne
Europe Équitable


Parti Socialiste

Czech Republic:

Socialistisk Folkeparti

Die Linke
ÖDP- die Naturschutzpartei

Movimento 5 Stelle – Sud – Pasquale Tridico.


Bloco de Esquerda



[1] World Bank (2022), World Bank President David Malpass: Foreword to the Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report

[2] IEA (2023), Net Zero Roadmap


[4] Chancel et al. (2022), World Wealth Tax Simulator

[5] International Attitudes Toward Global Policies, Adrien Fabre, Linus Mattauch & Thomas Douenne (2023).


[7] By “lower-income” we refer to countries defined by the World Bank as “low-income” or “lower-middle-income”.






Scroll to Top