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Minister presents climate plan at UN

Rich states should pay a higher rate of tax on their carbon emissions than poorer ones, according to a Swiss plan presented to the United Nations.

The money from the tax would enable the poorest countries to finance measures to deal with climate change.

On Wednesday Swiss Environment Minister, Moritz Leuenberger, presented the idea to a forum on climate held in the framework of the UN General Assembly.

Under the plan, each country would be allowed to produce 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per head of population. The tax would be payable above this level. Part of the money raised would remain in the country to finance national measures, while the rest would go into an international fund, to be spent exclusively in the least developed countries.

Switzerland believes this tax could raise $48.5 million annually. The World Bank has estimated that the total cost of the measures needed to face up to climate change will be between $10 and 40 billion annually.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR