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Leaders' Statement

Laurence Cockcroft

Co-founder Transparency International

Transparency International

UK, Europe


This submission is made to stress the urgency of the international anti corruption agenda in relation to climate change which badly needs to be strengthened. TI has been making this case for several years


Corruption and global warming

Corruption is a key factor in driving environmental degradation and a threat to efforts to stabilise climate change. The commitment was recently reconfirmed at the Paris Summit convened by UNFCCC and the government of France.

Of the ten countries which generate more than half the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases strategies developed to control emissions have proved to be the subject of major fraud or of the manipulation of regulatory measures. In low and middle income countries, such as Brazil, DRC and Indonesia the role of corruption is exemplified in its facilitation of deforestation. Of the ten countries which generate more than half the world’s emissions strategies developed to control emissions have proved to be the subject of major fraud. This is true in the case of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, both in the ways in which the original allowances were awarded in 2007, and in the subsequent exposure of the scheme to cyber crime. In the case of vehicle emissions it became clear in 2015, that corporate entities had been responsible for the falsification of data recorded on individual vehicles. At a national level the ‘capture’ of regulatory authorities has lowered the impact of regulation below the levels required to be effective and given an extended lease of life to technologies such as coal fired energy production.

The Paris Summit confirmed a commitment to the Green Climate Fund which has a target or spending US$100bn a year by 2020, and already has $10Bn fully committed. This target represents 70 per cent of current total aid flows and is at a high risk of corruption. The evidence for this is clear from existing funds with comparable objectives, notably the Clean Development Mechanism and REDD (targeted mainly at the ten countries with the largest forests). More broadly other measures agreed at Paris – with increased targets for the restraint of emissions – will have to be assessed in relation to their ability to withstand fraud and corruption.

Keys areas for action are :

  • Deforestation: more effective global system for the policing of timber shipments – the existing measures are proving inadequate at the level of the exporting country
  • Emissions trading and certification: much more robust policing and higher level of penalty
  • Green Climate Fund establish Trust Funds at country level with a mix of international and local trustees

More statements

We are grateful to all the authors and contributing organisations within this Manifesto and to the partner organisations that helped to convene this landmark collection of anti-corruption statements from across a wide range of business and civil society leaders. The partners for the Leaders' Anti-Corruption Manifesto are The B Team, Thomson Reuters, the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, the ONE campaign and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

This project is supported by a grant from the Omidyar Network.

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