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New Range of Italian Vegan Bags

We have some fantastic news to share with you – and just in time for Christmas too!

We are delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Miomojo, a multi-award-winning company creating beautiful bags and accessories. Based in Bergamo, Italy, Miomojo designs and produces cruelty-free accessories and bags to the highest standards, with the aim to create “products that never harm animals, humans or our home – this wonderful planet we live on”.

And now you can bag yourself one of their fabulous designs at 80% off the recommended retail price at select Oxfam Ireland stores across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

One of only 5,200 companies worldwide to hold a B Corporation Certificate – meaning the company meets high standards of performance, accountability and transparency – Miomojo shares our belief that the fashion industry can change and play its part in protecting our planet and creating a world free from poverty, inequality and injustice.

Keep scrolling to see a sneak peek of the Miomojo bags for sale in selected stores right now – as well as which Oxfam stockist is nearest to you!

Happy shopping!

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Oxfam Ireland Reaction to EU Finance Meeting

LIMITED EU REFORM ALLOWS IRELAND’S HARMFUL TAX REGIMES OFF THE HOOK

8 November 2022

Today, EU finance ministers agreed on the reform of the mandate of the Code of Conduct Group, the body within the Council of the EU that assesses harmful tax regimes and is responsible for the EU tax haven list. This reform updated the definition of harmful tax regimes in EU countries. No progress was made on updating the criteria for the EU tax haven list.

The EU has repeatedly criticised Ireland’s use of harmful tax regimes that allow multinational companies in Ireland avoid tax. In 2020, the European Commission identified Ireland as one of six EU member states that have tax rules or systems that facilitate aggressive tax avoidance.

Reacting to the news, Michael McCarthy Flynn, Oxfam Ireland Head of Policy and Advocacy, said;

“This reform is a slight improvement on the definition of harmful corporate tax regimes. It is broader and will close an important loophole used by companies to dodge paying tax. Yet, the definition remains vague, and only applies in the EU and to new national tax regimes. The process still lacks transparency.

“EU countries must follow up with more stringent guidelines and include all harmful tax regimes, such as patent boxes. Without that, the reform risks becoming another toothless attempt to clamp down on tax havens in Europe.

“We are still waiting on the promise to reform the criteria governing the EU tax haven list.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • In 2019 the European Parliament called on the Commission to regard at least five Member States - Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands - as EU tax havens.
  • In 2020, the European Commission identified six member states - Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands - as having tax rules or systems that facilitate aggressive tax planning.
  • Oxfam showed that for three consecutive years, five EU member states, Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands, had economic indicators typical of tax havens (e.g. high levels of Foreign Direct Investment, intellectual property payments, interests, dividends).
  • In July 2020, the European Commission said it would reform the mandate of the Code of Conduct Group (CoCG) - including the definition of harmful tax regimes and the criteria governing the EU tax havens list. Today, EU countries reached an agreement on the definition which was blocked by Hungary and Estonia last December. No progress has been made on the reform to the criteria of the EU tax havens list.
  • The reform:
    • Introduces a broader definition of harmful tax practices as it includes the screening of all harmful tax regimes used by companies to avoid taxes in the EU. Until now, countries could bypass this screening if they set out rules allowing all companies to benefit from tax advantages rather than only including specific sectors;
    • Only applies to general regimes adopted or modified after 2023; and
    • Gives the European Commission the possibility to address requests on harmful tax regimes to EU countries. 
  • Oxfam has consistently criticised the Code of Conduct Group for the weak and unfair criteria used to assess harmful tax regimes in the EU and in blacklisted countries, and for the lack of transparency in the screening process. We call for a stronger definition and assessment of harmful tax regimes and for more transparency and accountability of the group. Read our 2019 briefing note, Off the Hook and our tax briefing to the French presidency of the EU.  Similar recommendations were put forward in a report by the European Parliament in October 2021.
  • Oxfam showed that for three consecutive years, five EU countries (Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands) had economic indicators typical of tax havens (e.g. high levels of Foreign Direct Investment, intellectual property payments, interests, dividends).
  • Aggressive corporate tax planning in the EU amounts to 50 - 190 billion euros according to EU studies. A recent study by UNU-WIDER estimated that 1 trillion US dollars (40 percent of global corporate profits) was shifted to tax havens in 2019.

Contact information: Clare Cronin, Oxfam Ireland, 353+87+1952551

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A billionaire emits a million times more greenhouse gases than the average person

Ahead of COP27, Oxfam calls for ambitious and transparent climate action from big business and investors

The investments of just 125 billionaires emit 393 million tonnes of CO2e each year – the equivalent of France – at an individual annual average that is a million times higher than someone in the bottom 90 percent of humanity.

Carbon Billionaires: The investment emissions of the world’s richest people, is a report published by Oxfam today based on a detailed analysis of the investments of 125 of the richest billionaires in some of the world's biggest corporates and the carbon emissions of these investments. These billionaires have a collective $2.4 trillion stake in 183 companies.

The report finds that these billionaires’ investments give an annual average of 3m tonnes of CO2e per person, which is a million times higher than 2.76 tonnes of CO2e which is the average for those living in the bottom 90 percent.

The actual figure is likely to be higher still, as published carbon emissions by corporates have been shown to systematically underestimate the true level of carbon impact, and billionaires and corporates who do not publicly reveal their emissions, so could not be included in the research, are likely to be those with a high climate impact.

“These few billionaires together have ‘investment emissions’ that equal the carbon footprints of entire countries like France, Egypt or Argentina,” said Nafkote Dabi, Climate Change Lead at Oxfam. “The major and growing responsibility of wealthy people for overall emissions is rarely discussed or considered in climate policy making. This has to change. These billionaire investors at the top of the corporate pyramid have huge responsibility for driving climate breakdown. They have escaped accountability for too long. 

“Emissions from billionaire lifestyles, their private jets and yachts are thousands of times the average person, which is already completely unacceptable. But if we look at emissions from their investments, then their carbon emissions are over a million times higher.”

Contrary to average people, studies show the world's wealthiest individuals' investments account for up to 70 percent of their emissions. Oxfam has used public data to calculate the "investment emissions" of billionaires with over 10 percent stakes in a corporation, by allocating them a share of the reported emissions of the corporates in which they are invested in proportion to their stake.

The study also found billionaires had an average of 14 percent of their investments in polluting industries such as energy and materials like cement. This is twice the average for investments in the Standard and Poor 500. Only one billionaire in the sample had investments in a renewable energy company. 

Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland, said: “With our planet in crisis, no one should be profiting from pollution. COP27 is an opportunity to expose and challenge the role that big business and their rich investors are playing in driving the global climate crisis.

“Billionaire investments shape our future economy – but they also shape our future as a planet. By choosing to back high carbon infrastructure, billionaires are locking in high emissions for decades to come. Whereas our study found that if the billionaires sampled moved their investments to a fund with stronger environmental and social standards, it could reduce the intensity of their emissions by up to four times.

“Governments, including Ireland’s, have a key role to play in demanding change by publishing emission figures for the richest people, regulating investors and corporates to slash carbon emissions and taxing wealth and polluting investments.”

Currently there is no regulatory mechanism to hold private sector investments in Ireland accountable for their climate obligations.  Last month, three French NGOs, including Oxfam France, took the first step towards an unprecedented climate litigation case - the first in the world to target a commercial bank, BNP Paribas, for its high-risk activities in the oil and gas sector. Oxfam Ireland has called for similar corporate accountability legislation to be brought forward in Ireland.

Oxfam has estimated that a wealth tax on the world’s super-rich could raise $1.4 trillion a year, vital resources that could help developing countries – those worst hit by the climate crisis – to adapt, address loss and damage and carry out a just transition to renewable energy. According to the UNEP adaptation costs for developing countries could rise to $300 billion per year by 2030. Africa alone will require $600 billion between 2020 to 2030.

At home, Oxfam Ireland is calling for a wealth tax of 1.5% on wealth over €5 million and 2% above net-wealth of €50 million, which would generate €5 billion – revenue that could address national issues and allow us to uphold our international commitments, including on tackling the climate crisis. In addition to a wealth tax, Oxfam Ireland proposes a broad windfall tax on the excess profits of companies in all sectors of the economy, not just the energy sector.

The report says that many corporations are off track in setting their climate transition plans, including hiding behind unrealistic and unreliable decarbonisation plans with the promise of attaining net zero targets only by 2050. Fewer than one in three of the 183 corporates reviewed by Oxfam are working with the Science Based Targets Initiative. Only 16 percent have set net zero targets.

“To meet the global target of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, humanity must significantly reduce carbon emissions, which will necessitate radical changes in how investors and corporations conduct business and public policy,” concluded Dabi.

ENDS

CONTACT: Alice Dawson Lyons | alice.dawsonlyons@oxfam.org | +353 (0) 83 198 1869

Notes to Editors

  • Download Oxfam’s report “Carbon Billionaires”.
  • Oxfam began with a list of the 220 richest people in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and worked with data provider Exerica to identify a) the percentage ownership these billionaires held in corporations b) the scope 1&2 emissions of these corporations. To calculate the investment portfolios of individual billionaires, we used the analysis by Bloomberg, who provide detailed breakdowns of the sources of billionaire wealth. 
  • There were no Irish billionaires featured in the sample.
  • The estimate on the money that could be raise on wealth tax on millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires, is through using data from Wealth X and Forbes.
  • Recent data from Oxfam’s research with the Stockholm Environment Institute shows that the wealthiest 1 percent of humanity are responsible for twice as many emissions as the poorest 50 percent and that by 2030, their carbon footprints are set to be 30 times greater than the level compatible with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.
  • The GHS protocol greenhouse accounting standards widely used globally spells out the three categories of gas emissions associated with companies as follows: Scope 1 are direct emissions from the company’s operations. Scope 2 are indirect, where the emissions take place elsewhere. Scope 3 are all other indirect emissions, this includes everything from emissions in the company's supply chains to employee commuting, to the use of the products they sell by consumers.
  • For more on the climate litigation case in France see here
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The very best charity cards

HOW IT WORKS

When you purchase an Unwrapped gift, your donation supports Oxfam’s lifesaving work around the world. Your Unwrapped gift helps people living in poverty gain greater levels of self-sufficiency and control over their lives. Oxfam works with communities to determine what they need to change their own lives. Whether it’s a chicken, a cooking stove or a safe water source.

HOW PURCHASING A GIFT THROUGH OXFAM UNWRAPPED WORKS:

1. You choose your gift - HERE 

2. You choose the card-type (e-card, pdf, or print card) to be delivered to your recipient and personalise the message in the card (optional).

3. You will get a confirmation email after your purchase, containing your receipt.

4. Your symbolic gift is actually a donation - which goes to those who need it most. Because your gifts are considered charitable donations to Oxfam Ireland, your purchases can be tax efficient. For more information, please click here

WHERE THE MONEY GOES:

The money that you, and thousands of others, spend on Oxfam Unwrapped gifts supports the full range of Oxfam's work around the world, from emergency responses to advocacy projects. When you buy an Unwrapped gift, your donation will be allocated to one of four program funds:

1. Saving Lives Fund

We work with communities trying to adapt to climate change by creating emergency response plans and building infrastructure that can better withstand disaster. When it comes to saving lives during a disaster, fast action is critical. Oxfam staff are world leaders in speed and efficiency when it comes to delivering clean water and sanitation, food and shelter in a crisis situation. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated by the sale of gifts such as a Cooking StoveCare for a Baby and Support for a Refugee Family to provide life-saving support to communities experiencing emergencies, whether they are man-made crises, such as the ongoing conflicts in Yemen and Syria, or natural disasters like Cyclone Idai. Climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of natural disasters – communities have to be prepared for when the worst happens.

Your Unwrapped gift provides a range of practical supports such as clean water, sanitation facilities, cash vouchers to allow households to buy food, mosquito nets to prevent malaria as well as personal hygiene items.  We also work to ensure that the rights of the most vulnerable – small children and the elderly, people living with HIV and those with disabilities – are recognised and supported.

2. Supporting Livelihoods Fund

We work with communities living in extreme poverty to develop their own solutions and work with them to make their vision a reality. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated by the sale of gifts such as A GoatA Cow and Honeybees to work with poor communities to improve their livelihoods.

Your Oxfam Unwrapped gift helps communities which rely on livestock to earn a sustainable living. However, while the distribution of cows and goats may be the best solution for one community, agricultural training, grain banks or veterinary care might be more beneficial to another. We ensure that families living in extreme poverty have a say in finding the best solution for them and we work with them to make that solution a reality.  Because when people no longer have to worry about the basics, they can provide for their children and plan for their future.  This breaks the cycle of poverty.

3. Water For All - Safe water saves lives

It helps families to thrive. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated through gifts such as Safe Water for a FamilyGet Well Soon and Water for a School to give communities access to clean water and sanitation facilities to help keep them safe from disease. Water and sanitation-related illnesses still cause significant health problems, while poor water supply exacerbates waterborne diseases including cholera and diarrhoea. Our water engineers look for the most effective and efficient ways to bring clean water to communities.

Your Oxfam Unwrapped gift could help set up or maintain a safe water supply with pumps, tanks and taps, purification systems or pipes. It can restore supplies after an emergency and provide health and hygiene training. These skills are critical to community well-being, not just now but well into the future.

4. Investing in the Future Fund

We work with vulnerable communities to ensure that they have access to key essential services such as education and healthcare. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated through gifts such as Educate a GirlRoad to an Education or Lifelong Learning to ensure that girls and boys, as well as men and women, have the right to the high-quality education and healthcare that can put them on a path to a sustainable future. Your Oxfam Unwrapped gift will help support girls and women of all ages to learn, grow and reach their potential. Girls are more likely to be kept or taken out of school, denying them life-changing opportunities. We are working to increase access to these vital services by advocating for the availability of resources and empowering poor communities to demand greater accountability from their governments on the allocation of funding for services.

Whatever gift you decide to give, we'll ensure that your money gets to the people who need it most.

If you have more questions about Oxfam Unwrapped, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us at irl-unwrapped@oxfam.org. To learn more about Oxfam, please visit www.oxfamireland.org

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