ARE CLIMATE FINANCES SAFE FROM CORRUPTION?
The systems through which climate finances are being channeled through are new and untested. This makes them susceptible to corruption. Finding information about precise figures, transactions and decision-making processes can also be very hard, however, if not impossible. In addition, the people worst affected by climate change are usually excluded from the debate. The voices of indigenous and remote communities and poor people in cities are rarely heard. This shows how urgently we need transparent and accountable climate governance.
With poor governance of finances set aside to address these effects, the number and magnitude of communities suffering from climate change impacts would increase. Climate finances agreed in 2009 in Copenhagen are set to increase to USD100 billion by 2020. The Paris Agreement of 2015 extends this
period to 2025 beyond which the scale of finances will be adjusted upwards. These resources are likely to flow through the same traditional systems characterized by poor governance, lack of transparency, participation and accountability. This is further worsened by the need to fast-track solutions to address climate change.
Developing countries that are most vulnerable to effects of climate change also rank lowly on the TI Corruption Perception Index meaning that public sector corruption in these countries is perceived to be high. Kenya is one such country where corruption has been cited to be a major hindrance to development. In 2014, Kenya was ranked at position 145 out of 175 countries with a score of 25/100. This remained largely unchanged in 2015 with a rank of 139 out of 168 and the same score. This places an inherent risk on climate finances that Kenya receives. It is against this background that the Climate Governance Integrity Programme advocates for good governance, transparency and accountability in climate finance in order to make climate investments effective.