Skip to main content

Climate Governance Integrity Programme

Externally hosted content may include ads. These aren't endorsed by or reflect Transparency International's views.

Billions of dollars are funnelled into climate finance every year. Fighting the climate emergency requires large-scale investment in renewable energy and forest management The cost of adapting to climate change will also be huge: from coastal defences, to irrigation systems, to cyclone-proof housing. Extreme and unpredictable weather patterns will require far-reaching changes to our physical environment.

Those billions of dollars will save and improve lives, but they could also disappear through graft or negligence.

Through the Climate Governance Integrity Programme, Transparency International (TI) works to ensure that this money is governed with integrity, transparency, and accountability, so that these funds help the most vulnerable people adapt to the climate crisis. Countries receiving climate finance desperately need and deserve it; allowing scarce funds to be stolen is not an option.

What's at stake

The scale of the climate challenge is immense and the need to stimulate investments has
never been greater. However, the rates of corruption in climate vulnerable countries receiving climate finance is a serious cause for concern. The climate funding landscape is complex and fragmentary, which complicates efforts to track financial flows (there is still no universally agreed upon definition of climate finance), and to ascertain who should be held accountable for decisions and results.

In many countries, governments have indicated a willingness to engage with civil society, but
firm commitments and concrete action is still wanting. TI’s engagement and leadership on the issue of climate governance globally and nationally is strong. In countries where we work, the capacity of civil society to demand accountability from climate actors is increasing; there is a growing awareness of where integrity challenges lie and a stronger basis from which to pursue reform and achieve transformation.

However, more needs to be done to bridge the gap between the environmental and good governance communities; opportunities for victims and witnesses of corruption to seek redress are still limited.

Externally hosted content may include ads. These aren't endorsed by or reflect Transparency International's views.

What we're doing about it

For the last seven years, TI’s Climate Governance Integrity Programme has been working to safeguard climate finance and take action against abuse, mismanagement, and waste by demanding maximum transparency, accountability and integrity from the global to the local level.

Reducing the risk that corruption undermines climate investment and action, the programme increases trust in how funds are allocated and used. This in turn can increase the availability of climate finance for low-income countries to support climate resilience and the clean energy revolution. TI strengthens and engages civil society and local communities so they can expose existing corruption risks, and empower people to enforce their rights.

The programme works globally with TI national chapters in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. It has piloted anti-corruption safeguards and solutions through education, assessments, monitoring and advocacy actions.

Our approach

Photo: Alexis Tostado / unsplash.com

Following the money

TI chapters around the world are monitoring climate finance as it enters and is distributed throughout their countries. We’re conducting research to assess gaps and propose workable solutions tailored to specific countries.

In Mexico, our team has developed an online interactive map of climate finance flows in the country. Where they detect a risk of mismanagement or corruption, they highlight the problem and call for reforms.

Photo: Tobias / unsplash.com

Addressing complaints

There is much we can do to safeguard climate finance from corruption, and to make sure communities have a say in the process.

Where we find a misuse of climate fund, such as in Bangladesh where cyclone shelters were built without walls, or in the Maldives, the lowest-lying nation in the world, where millions of dollars vanished from a tsunami relief fund, we take action.

Using TI’s pioneering Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) model, we are able to register local communities’ complaints and help them get redress.

Photo: Helloquence / unsplash.com

Improving the governance of funds

We’re in direct contact with international climate funds, such as the billion-dollar Green Climate Fund, to make sure their decision making and policies are clean and safe from loopholes.

Photo: kazuend / unsplash.com

Protecting forests

Forests are the lungs of our planet - and they’re at risk from climate change, but also the schemes meant to halt it.

For example, we’re working to keep REDD+ clean. A UN mechanism that monetises forests to mitigate climate change through forest management and preservation, REDD+ could bring benefits to forest communities and mitigate carbon emissions. Without proper oversight, it could also be co-opted by powerful local interests.

Funded by

European Climate Foundation
European Union
NORAD
AFD
BMZ
BMU

Priorities