“We, the Youth of Mauritius, are greatly concerned about our future. We observe that past and current actions on a global and national level threaten the quality of our lives in the years to come. Such risks include global warming, environmental degradation, resource depletion and asymmetric wealth distribution.
Therefore, we are heartened by the adoption of the policy of Maurice Ile Durable. However, we fear there may be a lack of will to put the policy into action. Therefore, we make the following suggestion : let us extend the principle of ‘the polluter must pay’.
We propose a new tax regime whereby the future environmental and social cost of any decision taken from now on be borne solely by those who were of majority age at the time. The proposed waste incinerator will serve as an example to illustrate what we mean.
It is our understanding that the government will have to pay the operator a penalty fee if insufficient waste is supplied to the incinerator. We also understand that all electricity generated by the plant will be purchased at a fixed price.
We are committed to a zero-waste future and we are certain it will become increasingly cheaper to generate electricity from truly renewable sources. Therefore, the project carries significant future liability. If and when these liabilities are realised, we suggest they should be paid for only by those who were over 18 when permission for the project was granted.
We believe that such a system of taxation will encourage all of Mauritian society to align with the policy of Maurice Ile Durable. This will speed the transition to a sustainable society and reduce the overall cost of mitigating the consequences of our current, unsustainable way of life.
We encourage you, our elders, to introduce this system as quickly as possible. However, even if you do not, when it is our turn to run the country, we will implement it retrospectively. In addition, we will call to account all those who damaged our prospects by blatantly contradicting the guiding principle of sustainability.
We thank you for making Maurice Ile Durable your vision but please remember : it is our future.”