Clean and clear: How being more transparent over resources helps cut carbon emissions

Countries that sign up to improved financial transparency over oil, gas, and mining revenues benefit from significant reductions in carbon emissions, a new study by the University of Sussex Business School reveals.

Members of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) have seen their carbon emissions reduce by 13% on average between 2000 and 2014 while the world average carbon footprint per capita grew by 23% over the same period, reveals the research from the Sussex Energy Group.

Study author Professor Benjamin K Sovacool said while the relationship between EITI membership and carbon reductions is not necessarily deterministic, the scheme allowed countries to use recovered funds no longer lost to corruption to invest in more sustainable forms of energy and other environmental practices.

He added: "The EITI is an important and necessary ingredient of a dish for sustainable development in natural resource dependent countries, but it is far from a complete diet. While it may enhance economic governance and foreign direct investment, EITI membership does not lead to increased stability, reduced poverty or improved democracy.

"But our findings do suggest that, when left to their own devices, corporations and governments in resource rich countries need not always race to the bottom to lower standards and perpetuate the resource curse."

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By: Neil Vowles
Last updated: Wednesday, 14 October 2020

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