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Policy Position 02/2008: Linking the Corruption, Water and Environmental Agendas to Combat Climate Change

Corruption in the water sector compromises the environmental agenda. It contributes to water scarcity, large- scale pollution and the destruction of natural habitats — all factors which make our response to climate change more difficult. If present patterns continue, climate change is expected to fundamentally alter rainfall and river flows, drive up sea levels and put water supplies at risk in many regions. The world will see more frequent and catastrophic storms, floods and droughts with incalculable human consequences. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has already warned that the world’s poorest are going to bear the greatest burden from these shifts. They estimate that more than US $86 billion will be needed annually — for environmental infrastructure and social protection schemes — to overcome the rising inequality unleashed by climate change.