Improving the Governance of Governments

Ken Coghill, Barbara Norman, Thomas Smith , Christina Neesham, Abel Kinyondo

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Integrity in government is one of the most important preconditions for progress towards a low-carbon future. It is founded in the public trust principle according to which all public officers – politicians and public servants – are entrusted with putting the public interest ahead of other interests. Climate is a public interest, held in common. Corruption threatens the integrity of any system of government, undermining local, national and global action on climate change. The risks are not only from the most egregious corruption such as accepting illegal benefits coincident with making decisions favouring donors, but across a spectrum extending to subtle flouting of the public trust principle. Evidence of the risks to a healthy climate posed by corruption are illustrated by the environmental performance of corrupt states, buying influence and votes in democracies and procurement practices that defy government obligations under Paris Climate Change Agreement commitments. Strategies are outlined that can be implemented by nations to honour their Paris Agreement commitments and proactively reduce risks of corruption which undermine action on climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransitioning to a Prosperous, Resilient and Carbon-Free Economy
EditorsKen Baldwin, Mark Howden, Michael Smith, Karen Hussey, Peter Dawson
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781107118348
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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