U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


What evidence exists on corruption risks particular to climate finance, and what is the current evidence base on effective corruption mitigation approaches?


We want to ensure that our climate finance is in keeping with good practice on managing corruption risks, both in terms of our own bilateral programmes and our contributions to larger funds. Our particular interest is in adaptation finance.


  1. State of research on corruption risks in climate finance
  2. Evidence of corruption in climate finance and programming
  3. Emerging good practice for mitigating corruption risks in climate finance
  4. References


There are major integrity and corruption challenges associated with climate finance. The huge amounts of money flowing from public and private sources, disbursed by international donors, national governments and local actors often lack adequate transparency and accountability mechanisms, with little information available concerning how these funds are spent, how they are generated and to what end. The main corruption risks related to climate finance vary according to the phase of the process: undue lobbying and conflict of interest are more of a risk at the policy development and project approval stage, while bribery, nepotism, and embezzlement are the main risks at the execution stage of mitigation and adaptation projects.
Increased oversight and third party monitoring of policy and project development would mitigate corruption risks at the planning stage, while greater expenditure monitoring, redress mechanisms and increased transparency would decrease corruption risks in the project implementation phase. Although there is limited empirical research on corruption risks in climate finance, there are a growing number of studies on climate finance flows and the execution of adaptation and climate change mitigation projects. Promising developments related to the transparency framework of the Paris Agreement suggest there will be an increased focus on international and national accountability in climate finance, action and results in the coming years.


Iñaki Albisu Ardigó, Transparency International, [email protected]


Leah Good, Lisa Ann Elges PhD, Brice Boehmer, Transparency International,[email protected]




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