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‘We’re an important voice,’ Parkop tells climate summit

The great twin threats of climate & corruption

| Transparency International

BERLIN - The climate crisis, like corruption, is a matter of life or death.

The evidence is hard and clear. The last five years are the hottest ever recorded in the 139 years that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tracked global heat.

Already we are witnessing the alarming consequences of climate change.

The Arctic, Amazon and parts of Siberia and Indonesia have been burning, Iceland recently held a funeral for a 700-year-old glacier killed by climate change, and more than half of all earth’s species have been lost since 1970 – just to name a few.

Global heating is no longer a future threat. It is here.

Climate change and corruption share many symptoms. They hit the poorest and most vulnerable first and worst and are caused by powerful individuals or entities seeking short term gain.

In the long term, they put lives and livelihoods at risk, threatening all species and entire economies. And both thrive on the flaws of national governments. 

To stop them, we need strong global cooperation.

World leaders agreed to pledge US$100 billion (K340 billion) in climate finance by 2020, and the same amount each year thereafter as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Although funding has fallen short, the way these funds are spent could save lives of millions now and ensure billions in the future are set on a safe path.

Transparency International’s role, through our Climate Finance Integrity Program, is to safeguard climate funds from corruption. 

This is just one aspect of what can be done. 

Global cooperation also means standing together in solidarity, putting pressure on their governments to act on the two greatest threats to humanity and the planet. 

It means doing something. 

This weekend, and through the next week, thousands of climate strikes will take place in cities across the world.

Here at Transparency International, we will be striking as well.


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Dave Ekins

Well said, Michael.

Michael Dom

Planet Earth does not need humanity to save it.

We have it backwards.

Raymond Sigimet

It is getting hot!

I am not someone who jumps on the bandwagon too quickly just because everyone else is jumping on. I believe that what you see is what it is. And I am saying that since the turn of this century, Papua New Guinea is getting hot. The heat of the sun is unbearably hot in some of the coastal towns. You can feel the temperature in Kokopo, Kimbe, Lae, Madang, Wewak, Vanimo and Port Moresby. These are some towns I've been at.

Whether it is to do with the greenhouse effect or earth's climatic epochs, I wouldn't know but I am saying that planet earth IS getting hot. As someone who lives in a tropical region of the world, my observation is that there is some truth in the argument that planet earth is warming up. The temperature is slowly spiking and heating up each day, month and year. I believe the evidence is obvious over time. We are one fifth of the way into the 21st century and in hot pursuit is the climate change issue that needs to be discussed and addressed by the nations of the world.

I was in Goroka between 2005 and 2008, I really enjoyed the cool climate of the Eastern Highlands capital. During my leisure time, I'd walk from North Goroka to town or the market or all the way to the shopping centre at West Goroka. I never break a sweat on these walks. Fast forward to 2016, I spent a few months there and it was a whole new experience for me. Goroka felt hot on some days. I'd take the same route and I'd be sweating to and back. That was what I noticed and this experience intrigued me back then.

In Goroka, I'd observe coconut and betel nut trees being planted. In 2008, while traveling the Wahgi valley. I saw coconut trees along the highway. What people said was that if these tropical hot climate plants flower and bear fruits, it just proved that climate change is happening right before our eyes. In 2008, I observed cases of malaria amongst the people in a region where this was unheard of some decades ago. These are personal experiences noted by me over time. They are not based on research or data. If these experiences do not bear witness to the obvious, then I do not know what will.

The leaders of the nations of the earth need to accept and strategise what needs to be done. The developed countries have to protect their industries and excessive ways of life, the developing countries need to protect their environment and people. Everyone has to sit together and talk. What other options do we have when scientists are saying the temperature of the earth has risen to unprecedented levels since the advent of the industrial revolution? What other options do we have when we read of hundreds of fatalities due to the scourge of heat waves in different nations?

What do we do with the reported occurrences of severe droughts, bush fires, extreme weather patterns, unusual snow falls, coral reef bleeching, rising sea levels and the list goes on? What do we do? I hope we do not just sit, blame, deny and pretend that whatever that is happening on the planet has nothing to do with me.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The global warming and climate change debate is generating a plethora of mixed messages, especially at the edges, that require very careful navigation to get to the truth.

The so-called climate change deniers are not actually saying that the climate is not changing. What they are saying is that climate change is a natural phenomenon that has been going on since the planet came into existence.

What they are not prepared to accept is that mankind, by burning fossil fuels, clearing land and other related activities, is accelerating the present change.

They are right about climate change being a natural phenomenon but are wrong about mankind’s influence.

At the other extreme, climate change activists are promoting the view that human induced climate change will lead to the destruction of the planet. This is no more explicit than in the popular slogan, ‘There is no planet B’.

They are right about mankind’s effect on the climate but are wrong about the potential destruction of the planet.

The planet will survive the change of climate just as it has survived climate change and other catastrophic environmental disasters in the past.

The Gaia principle says that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system thus maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.

This suggests that whatever humans do to the planet it will adjust to maintain itself. What is not clear is whether humanity will survive the adjustment.

Many of the dire consequences predicted as a result of climate change relate directly to human survival.

Not least of these are food and water shortages and wars induced by population movements as regional areas become uninhabitable.

The world is over populated. A pragmatic and positive take on the consequences of climate change is that the planet might actually be better off with a drastically reduced human population.

Whether we humans and the other sentient beings on the planet want to endure the immense suffering that this will entail is a different matter.

If the current debate is anything to go by there seems to be a portion of humanity that is quite prepared to accept such a situation.

That portion is largely made up of the powerful and wealthy who seem to think that their money will leave them inured to any disasters that might ensue through their wilful disregard of all the warnings.

The climate change debate is quickly becoming shrill. This is no more evident than in the current protests erupting all over the world.

It is time for level heads to prevail. If the protests lead to a universal recognition of the problem this will help. If they create climate change militarism for its own sake this will not help.

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