TI-Z warns of Climate Finance Corruption Risk
Corruption has no limits as it permeates all sectors. This article by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TI Z) seeks to raise awareness on the corruption risks that lies in climate financing. Climate financing can be defined as financing channelled by various global and national actors for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects and programs. Corruption generally follows and flows towards where resources are and it is within this regard that the climate financing in Zimbabwe is at a great risk of corruption
Zimbabwe has experienced a series of climate disasters ranging from droughts, floods, harsh winters and excessive rains, mainly affecting poor communities that are predominantly reliant on agriculture. However, there has also been massive fundraising efforts by the domestic and international community to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate. In October 2016, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Funds (CERF) committed $8,2 million in response to the severe drought that affected more than 4 million Zimbabweans. CERF also made an additional $1,6 million commitment to assist over 32 600 flood-affected victims with lifesaving, shelter, sanitation, hygiene and water. During the same period the European Union (EU) gave Zimbabwean farmers $2,4 million to help them alleviate the impact of the lean season that picked from January to march 2017. A domestic initiative to respond to the impact of El Nino was also launched by VP Mphoko, were he made a domestic and international appeal for $200 million humanitarian assistance.
Given the precedence of corruption and revenue abuse in Zimbabwe ‘s crucial sectors such as mining, land, health care, education inter alia, there is a high possibility that funds that falls under climate financing may be abused. To ensure climate finance integrity TI Z recommends the following:
- There is need and value in whistleblowing. TI Z recommends the need for a multipronged approach allowing citizen journalist and media houses to uncover and report cases of corruption. It is essential that people who uncover suspected cases of climate finance related corruption feel protected in coming forward.
- Generally corruption flourishes and thrives in an environment where is there is information asymmetry, discretion plus monopoly and minus accountability. This is true of climate financing in Zimbabwe. Government should develop policies and institutions to ensure transparent and accountability in the use and management of climate funds. Such policies and mechanism should be largely citizen and community centric allowing for citizens demand and be provided with accurate information on climate funds.
- There is also need for strong due diligence checks around which partners are involved in the utilisation and management of climate funds. The aspect of beneficial ownership remains one area with grey spot in Zimbabwe and as such requiring policy and multi stakeholder response. Strong and publicly available codes of conduct, procurement and accreditation policies are vital to building integrity on to the fabric of how these funds are managed.
- Policies relating to the implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation should also be implementable through a definitive monitoring and evaluation framework.