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G8 energy statement falls short on corruption

The final G8 statement on Global Energy Security misses the mark by failing to address sufficiently the massive impact of corruption and lack of transparency on global energy security. Although the need to address corruption and governance in the extractives sector is mentioned, the statement offers no practical details on how this would be achieved.

The document’s vague language – a pledge to “take forward efforts” to support the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) – implies intention without specifying explicit actions. EITI mentions in two other summit documents add nothing in specificity.

“We were looking for specific commitments from G8 nations on supporting and expanding the EITI. The statement leaves a cloud where there should be clarity,” said David Nussbaum, CEO of Transparency International. “It steps back from the forceful and specific language we saw last year and fails to define milestones for progress.”

While the stated commitments to transparent markets and stronger regulatory frameworks are welcome, the lack of binding language on supporting extractive industries transparency diminishes the statement’s impact. There is no mention of pushing extractive companies from G8 countries to publish the details of the oil and gas payments they make to host governments, nor explicit mention of the need for those governments to publish their revenues.

“Opaque finances in mineral extraction are a major contributing factor in many countries to widespread corruption, conflict, and arrested social, democratic and economic development,” said Nussbaum. “The G8 leaders know this; they have the resources to do something about it. But their language does not express a strong commitment.”

The summit is not over. Transparency International looks to the leaders for further evidence of their commitment to fight the pervasive graft, cronyism and malfeasance that inhibit the chance for true energy security, and to maximise the economic potential of natural resources.

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Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.


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