Operating in financial secrecy, bad actors are free to profit from environmental degradation, and in doing so undermine the global fight against climate change. As global leaders make new commitments this week at COP26, it’s time that politicians promise to shine a light on global financial secrecy, particularly the use of anonymous shell companies, as a crucial climate reform.
Tax and climate activists have a rare opportunity to join forces on public country-by-country reporting, a key tool to ending the global race to the bottom and unveiling unsustainable business practices.
This is a prime opportunity for climate and tax activists to work together at the domestic and international level to further tax reform to equitably raise funds for domestic and global climate investments, to reduce incentives for pollution offshoring, and to support emission reductions around the world.
The past week’s revelations through the “Pandora Papers” – the largest exposé to-date of how global politicians, business leaders, celebrities, and multinational companies use and abuse the “offshore” financial system – are both shocking and surprisingly familiar.
The OECD two-pillar approach represents a historic opportunity to address global challenges. Serious equity concerns persist around the process and the current framework, though. Without an equitable final framework, it is hard to imagine that any agreement will be sustainable, as per G-24 warnings.
The Treasury Department, in parallel with state and municipal actors, should implement permanent reforms to pull back the veil on the anonymous purchase of U.S. real estate to fight money laundering and corruption and, as a result, cultivate fairer housing markets here at home..