This interactive lecture is a part of the New Dutch Masters series organised by the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Geneva.
In his painting of the festoon with luscious flowers and fruits, Jan Davidszoon displays the abundance nature can bring. At the same time, the painter reminds us of the circle of life and the perishability of earthly possessions. Times have changed since this painting was made; climate disruption is wreaking havoc, water is scarce in many regions of the world and humanity’s need for food and materials is stretching our natural resources. Furthermore we are facing challenging social issues like how to create sufficient jobs for an increasing population. In a world of scarcity of natural resources and abundance of human capacities and talents, the question arises how we can create prosperity that is inclusive, circular and less perishable? Femke Groothuis suggests that a fresh perspective on the role of taxes could yield possible answers to what is arguably one of the most challenging questions of our time. Her research with Deloitte, EY, KPMG Meijburg, PwC, Cambridge Econometrics and Trucost demonstrates how a tax shift from labour to natural resources can produce a fiscal system that supports achieving the Global Goals. She looks forward sharing her perspective during her lecture.
Femke Groothuis is President of The Ex’tax Project, a think tank focussed on the role of tax in achieving inclusive and sustainable economies. Her latest study presents a fiscal strategy for 27 member states of the European Union. The macro-economic modelling results show that switching taxes from labour to pollution and resource use significantly increases GDP and employment levels while cutting carbon emissions and pollution. Between 1999 and 2009 Groothuis was Investment Manager at Ex’tent Green Venture Capital, a pioneering impact investment fund.