Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Climate change aid - How to avoid corruption?

The poor, developing countries will no doubt need rich countries to provide them with huge financial aid in order to successfully tackle climate change. But with the huge funds, there is also a huge possibility for major corruption, especially if you consider that according to the Transparency International (TI) the 20 nations most vulnerable to climate change – where millions in grants and aid will be targeted - belong to the most corrupted countries in the world.

Corruption doesn't care about the health of our planet. There are many greedy people across the globe who care more about the money than our planet's future and without the introduction of adequate mechanisms to control climate change funds millions could end up in some dirty politician's pocket instead of being actually used to combat climate change.

The total investment into combating global climate change will reach almost $700bn by 2020, a huge sum that will likely open the door for corruption in many corners of the world. The main problem with climate change funds is that their mechanisms haven't yet been fully tested which almost invites embezzlement and misappropriation.

The carbon markets (the main financial tools to tackle climate change) have been some sort of a bad omen after the European Union's carbon market was forced to shut down after being constantly attacked by cyber-hackers. The result of these attacks is three million carbon credits stolen from government and private company accounts.

Things with climate change issue are anything but easy. Not only does the world have to ensure enough money for poor countries to tackle climate change, it also have to come up with the adequate controlling mechanisms in order to avoid corruption on large scale.

But make no mistake here as all countries are vulnerable to corruption though developing countries are the most vulnerable since they often lack even the basic anti-corruption mechanisms. It certainly looks like the battle against climate change will not only have to be focused on climate change but on various other factors too, including the possible corruption.

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