A new tax policy regarding youth can be a tool to encourage responsible behaviors and the mechanism to trigger young participation
Kitulectivo is compromised to increase youth participation within climate chang arena. The organization has designed a proposal that aims to overcome significant constraints, that have been identified by the leaders of Kitulectivo as the most important limitations to achieve strong participation.
The proposal has three primary stages:
First Stage: New Taxation mechanism for young people with two targets: Mobilization and Green Jobs. The mechanism contemplates incentives and penalizations in order to benefit youth awareness around climate change.
The objective of this stage is foster climate change awareness within this young generation, who has to affront and be responsible with climate change issues. At the same time, this stage will be the base for funding (money) in order to sustain and promote the second and third stage of the project.
Second Stage: The second stage aims to promote and increase the number of organizations and young people participating actively, motivated and organized toward climate change adaptation. Once the new tax mechanism has been built up, it would be easier to manage the funds and drive then toward campaigns, activities and seminars from youth to youth, confronting climate change.
The objective of this stage is increase the number of young organizations and young people involved in order to promote an organized National Youth Movement.
Third Stage: The National Youth Movement will promote summits, workshops projects, initiatives and campaigns to generate enough knowledge and experience in young people. It also aims to foster legal changes in order to merge youth councils and allow their envoys make decisions in the National Assembly and key Local Governments. Young people, with it expertise and knowledge, will also be able to participate in Civil Society and Negotiations arena at International events.
The objective of this stage is create the platform and a scenario to allow youth make decisions at National and International level.
Category of action
Youth Leadership on Climate Change
What actions do you propose?
The absence of autonomy and resources independence is one of the main constraints that have been causing slow progress to increase young people influence and participation in the decision making arena. After being involved more than five years within environmental movements, organizations and mobilizations, kitulectivo has identified that the absence of resources mainly economic source, has been pushing environmental movement to disappear. Therefore, our initiative aims to overcome these limitations, making young people participate but at the same time, making young people aware of the huge responsibility that as generation have to affront.
Our proposal contemplates three stages and it seeks to close the cycle. For us, close the cycle means be sustainable as organization and decisive through climate change negotiations.
STAGE 1: Funding (Young Taxation)
STAGE 2: Promote, organize or reorganize (Movilization stage)
STAGE 3: Political and decision making
Youth activities that contribute to climate change should be financially compensated. Governmental taxation in Ecuador is managed by an organism called SRI (Servicio de Rentas Internas), which is based on one tax called it “IMPUESTO A LA RENTA”. This tax is directly charged from the salaries of workers and enterprises utilities every year, but it has a novel mechanism to reduce the amount charged to citizens, depending on health, food and housing expensenses. Kitulectivo, thinks that this mechanism can be upgraded with the inclusion of an environmental target. However, considering the significant role that young people play within climate change issues, we have considered that the target must be focus on young people.
The taxation mechanism will be composed by two lines of action. The first comprehends an incentive mechanism and the second one is a penalty. The incentive seeks to reward young people that reduce the emissions of green house gases, using public transportation, cycling and walking as their primary means of transport.
Mobilization is clearly one of the main issues in Latin America and in Ecuador. In fact urban transportation and mobility have been a historical issue in developing countries, particularly in Latin America. A study of 15 cities in Latin America (113 million people) showed that almost 71% of the Latin America population uses public transportation, cycling and walking as their primary means of transport for their daily journeys (Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina [CAF], 2011). Therefore, Kitulectivo has considered that urban mobilization fits within the environmental target proposed.
Taking into account that young people can be considered between 15 and 30 years old. It is important to separate two groups for the incentive mechanism. Normally young people between 15 and 23 years do not work regularly, thus the tax incentive will benefit their parents. The other group age between 23 and 30 years will received the incentive directly. It is important to clarify that the incentive will applicate only under student centres mobilization circumstances for the first group such as universities or schools. And for the second group, the incentive will apply only under work mobilization circumstances. Besides, it is important to establish that young people with kids will be exempted of the tax payment in any group.
On the other hand, youth activities that contributes with increase CO2 emission should be financially penalized. Again, the target will be the mobilization. The penalty seeks to punish young people that contribute to increase the emissions of greenhouse gases, using personal cars as their primary means of transport. The first group of young people between 15 to 23 years old will receive a tax increase indirectly, because it will be charged to their parents. And the second group between 23 and 30 years old will receive the extra tax directly. The “Servicio de Rentas Internas” (SRI) must provide an additional payment for youth that increase using vehicles and private transportation.
In general, Kitulectivo has been thinking to set up the tax around 5%. However, we are aware that the input of a legal expert in taxation would be indispensable. This costs will be considered in the costs of the project.
The second taxation target will be focus to labor and jobs activities of young people between 23 - 30 years old, that from now we will call it as “Productive Young Universe” (PYU). Regarding generational responsibility that young people possess within climate change battle, It is important to recognize that there are two specific labor groups of young people within the PYU. The first group encompasses young people that is current or will be enrolled with non-pollutant enterprises or low level pollutant enterprises. The second group contemplates young people that is current or have decided to work with the pollutant productive sector. This division of the productive sector of the nation will consider the list of the third communication submitted by the Environmental Minister of Ecuador. This list will describe by CO2 emissions the worse pollutant productive sectors. Once the productive sectors have been identified, the taxation will take place with a discount of 2%, directly charged on the salary of PYU target.
On the other hand, the PYU that is working on the non pollutant sectors should be promoted by the non payment of the new tax and could be considered to be part of the first target incentives. Normally, this taxation incentives will be reflected in the general taxation system of Ecuador called “IMPUESTO A LA RENTA” previously mentioned.
In conclusion, the first stage aims to provide three products: The first product is the incremental of climate change awareness among this generation, who has to affront and be responsible with climate change issues. At the same time, the first product looks to increase the number of young people participating actively in climate change adaptation and mitigation, causing a cultural shock. The second product is related to obtain funding (money) in order to sustain and promote the second and third stage of the project. These stages are clearly explained below, but in summary will contemplate activities such as campaigns, capacitation, responsible consumption etc. Finally, the democratization of public spending is fundamental to vary the power relations. Therefore, the use of public resources to establish a new taxation mechanism that will benefit in average 71% of citizens in the case of mobilization, obviously represents an advance in public policy and climate change participation.
One of the biggest issues that concern to the Ecuadorian youth movements is the lack of recognition from governmental authorities. Young people do not receive any benefit from activism they work in and they are bound to get a job so they can receive an income. As a result, the motivation and permanence of youth in the collectives is reduced. Another important problem is that young movements around the country have not met each other and are not articulated between them, consequently, they are weak and formed by few people.
In the second stage Kitulectivo seeks that young people get involved in a network where they can met all initiatives that are been taken in the country by youth. We have noticed that we need to be organized as a movement so we can get in touch with people around the country working at environmental subjects. Whats more, we need focal points that could receive a normal salary so they could dedicate completely to the movement. Also, this movement need to be recognized as an organization and its coordinators must be taken into account in policy decisions. Another important part of the movement would be the investigation young people would have to do, not only about the initiatives in the country, but also a complete research of young people and organizations around the world, and the opportunities for Ecuadorians to be part of the international movements.
Another important activity that Kitulectivo wants to achieve is the replication of adaptation actions around the county. As we know, Ecuador is a vulnerable country to climate change and there are a lot of initiatives, that are been taken to adapt to it. Once we have created the Ecuadorian movement against climate change and received money from the mitigation incentives mentioned above, we will be able to replicate successful adaptation initiatives working with local communities. Talking about long term goals, Kitulectivo seeks that in every city of Ecuador, there is young people organized and promote adaptation actions with their local communities, increasing their resilience to climate change and beginning a process of behavioral change in society. Kitulectivo strongly believe that small changes in society, in communities can have huge impacts.
The fact is that if more young people change their behaviours as a result of the public spending democratization (Incentive and penalization mechanism - stage 1), they will get more involved in organizations that are following their thoughts. This will trigger pressure on the national and local governments in order to implement measures to adapt and mitigate climate change. Hence, organizations and youth movement in general will be strengthened with motivation and innovative ideas.
Once the movement has its funds, it is organized or reorganized and the initiatives or projects are done and replicated; the movement should have a representative in the decision making arena. In order to make this feasible, there are two key ideas that we will promote to match youth and decision making. The first one is generational responsibility and the second one is democratization of the States. The responsibility as young people is avoid the mistakes of our predecessors. Hence, we want to promote the generational motivation of change as part of our lives. Further, we know that there are different ways that people can express their opinions and decisions in democratic governments. However, we think that civil society should participate more actively in these democratic arenas. Therefore, the proposal aims to foster generational responsibility on young people and merge them with the National and Local Governments.
Kitulectivo proposes that the National Youth Movement should have a youth council on climate change as part of the government. We aim to catch up the two principal levels of governance in Ecuador: National Assembly and Local Governments. The idea is to constitute a legal council within the National Assembly and other councils in strategic Local Governments. These councils will be led by National Youth Movement. As a result of its meetings, projects, expertise and knowledge, these councils will promote innovative ideas to tackle climate change. Besides, each council will select a representant or envoy, who will make decisions related to climate change in the government. Hence, there will be one envoy in each chosen Local Governments and one in the National Assembly. Furthermore, the council will take place not only in National arena, but International arena as well . Once the funds to finance the trips and International participations have been collected, the National Youth Movement will participate in events such as the Conference of Youth for Climate Change and the Conference of Parties for Climate Change. For example, the participation in the COPs will be either in the Civil Society or Negotiation Sites in order to assure the promotion of the proposals of the National Youth Movement.
In conclusion, the stage 3 will permit the organized and active National Youth Movement to merge the activism with decision making in all the key levels of governance in Ecuador. It also will be a positive precedent to other groups of civil society that want to replicate similar initiatives to consolidate their participation in decision making arena.
Who will take these actions?
Kitulectivo has found that there are three main actors that should be involved. However, our spirit as organization is consider the majority of stakeholders. We are convinced that this is the only way to sustain alive the proposal and the mechanism. However, at the same time we recognize that legal policy and political power is necessary to make a change. Therefore, following are the main key actors for our proposal.
The role of this group is receive the proposal and activate different governmental departments to implement, operate and communicate the new tax measure. AMong the governmental actors are, the parliament, the president and the SRI department.
The Kitulectivo is the main actor of this group as the communication channel between the proposal and national authorities. Also, it will be coordinator of the second stage. Besides, it would be a variety of young organizations involved during the second stage and the third stage.
Society will be affected by the measure. Undoubtedly, young people will be more affected. Therefore, public participation will be a key aspect during the implementation of the proposal. This project should be empowered by society and take it to authorities, emulating a bottom-up approach.
What are other key benefits?
Kitulectivo thinks that the empowerment of climate change is one of the other key benefits that the proposal included. This proposal has been conceived as a response to the imminent consequences of the climate change. But, at the same time, has been set up a proposal from the civil society to civil society. This proposal reflects the compromise of this young generation to overcome the lack of adaptation to climate change and the desire to be part of decision making arena.
Besides, the implementation of this proposal represents a preceding for future proposal from civil society to civil society. Left-turn Governments in Latin America are aiming to democratize public spending and stop inequity. This funding mechanism and its objectives should represent a change of age and follows left -turn vision.
What are the proposal’s costs?
The three stages have the following specific parts:
- Gathering legal information ($ 0,00)
- Make the porposal (Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3) supported by a legal advisor. ($ 3.000,00 sponsor of Climate-COLAB)
- Promote the proposal to the government. ($ 0,00)
- Gathering information of organizations, initiatives and projects ($ 0,00)
- First workshop to organize the National Youth Movement with strategic stakeholders. ($ 5.000,00 sponsor of Climate-COLAB)
- National Youth Summit on Climate Change. ($ 15.000,00 -$ 1.000,00 left sponsor of Climate-COLAB) and - National Youth Summit on Climate Change. ($ 15.000,00 -$ 1.000,00 left sponsor of Climate-COLAB and $14.000,00 collected from Stage 1) - Promotion of youth projects, initiatives and research. (It depends of the number of organizations and projects to promote and the money available from the Stage 1)4.000,00 collected from Stage 1) - Promotion of youth projects, initiatives and research. (It depends of the number of organizations and projects to promote and the money available from the Stage 1)
- Economic support to the Coordinators of the National Youth Movement (NYM) and its envoys (at least 10 young people). ( $ 500,00 / person / month - collected from Stage 1 -)
- National Youth Summit and Local Youth Workshops. ($ 5.000,00 - $ 15.000,00 / event - money collected from Stage 1 -)
- International Participation. ($ 5.000,00 / person / year - money collected from Stage 1 -)
- Campaigns. (It depends the people and places to focus on the campaigns)
In conclusion, the $ 10.000,00 will be a seed funding to promote basicly the Stage 1.
Kitulectivo proposes this time line to run the project:
SHORT TERM (5-15 years)
- Gathering Legal Information
- Make the proposal supported by a legal advisor.
- Promote the proposal to the government.
- Gathering information organizations, initiatives and projects.
- First workshop to organize the National Youth Movement with strategic stakeholders.
- National Youth Summit on Climate Change.
- Promotion of youth projects, initiatives and research.
- Economic support to the Coordinators of the NYM.
- National Youth Summit and Local Youth Workshop.
- International Participation.
MEDIUM TERM (15-50 years)
In this phase, Kitulectivo hopes that the three Stages of the project will continue as in the first 5 years.
LONG TERM (50-100 years)
In this phase, Kitulectivo hopes that youth should take part of the councils, thousands of projects will have forgotted, and the National Youth Movement will be a strong organization in Latin America.
Kitulectivo have read all the proposals from Climate COLAB, and we have found some of them related to the project:
The international rule of law, evaluation of its application to climate change
SOCIETY FOR CLIMATE ACTION
Generating political willpower for climate action through fossil fuel divestment
Food bikes: the low capital, low footprint alternative to food trucks
We have read the proposals, but we have not found one of them totally related with the project, so we think that the proposal is innovative and has a great potential for change.
Kitulectivo have also read the KPMG green tax index, where several examples are explained. It comprehends tax mechanisms to benefit green buildings, renewable energy, water efficiency inter alia. These green taxes has been implemented successfully in countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Belgium. This book is a reference for other kind of experiences in environmental taxes.
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- Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (2011). Environmental Taxation A Guide for Policy Makers.
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