Transparency, taxes and our planet
– understanding the implications of financial opacity and tax avoidance on sustainability
8 March, 2022, 15:00-16:00 CET (online)
Financial transparency and especially the disclosure of climate risks has become a major issue in discussions about sustainable finance amongst policy-makers, financial regulators, and in the financial industry. One of the most challenging, controversial and least understood issues in this area is how governments, companies and individuals intentionally use so-called tax haven jurisdictions and complex structures involving trusts and shell companies as vehicles to reduce financial transparency and accountability. Uses of such structures in extractive sectors like mining, forestry and fisheries have potentially very large, yet poorly understood social and environmental impacts.
This online conversation organized as a contribution to Stockholm+50 will elaborate these issues in depth with leading experts and practitioners, including the challenges of studying this phenomenon, and the most important policy pathways that could lead to a step-change in transparency and tax fairness in extractive sectors with benefits for both people and planet.
Introduction: Gay Ordenes, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
Reflection 1: Linda Larsson Kakuli, award winning investigative journalist, Swedish Television
Reflection 2: Jan Fichtner, Senior Research Fellow in the CORPNET project at the University of Amsterdam.
Reflection 3: Athanasia Karananou, UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
Moderator: Victor Galaz, Deputy Director, Associate Professor, Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Marie Gay Alessandra V. Ordenes is a lawyer with expertise in public policy, anticorruption and extractive sector governance. She is the Anti-Corruption lead at the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) International Secretariat. She leads the work on beneficial ownership and contract transparency, as well as providing strategic direction for implementing the EITI Standard in Asia Pacific, Eurasia and Middle East. Gay is the Asia director and a member of EITIs senior management team.
Linda Larsson Kakuli is a Swedish investigative reporter who is part of the network International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ. She has been involved in the investigating the connection between banks and money laundering based on the Panama Papers as well as the Paradise Papers, and she has won multiple prestigious awards with her colleagues for their investigative work. Her work was nominated to the International Emmy Awards in 2020. Larsson Kakuli is currently exploring conducting investigative work that relates to the use of tax havens by extractive industries.
Jan Fichtner is a Senior Research Fellow in the CORPNET project at the University of Amsterdam. He is an expert on the global tax haven economy and its links to the financial sector. His research interests lie in Global Finance and include index funds, index providers, ESG and climate change mitigation, and offshore financial centers.
Athanasia Karananou is the Director of Corporate Governance & Research at UN Principles for Responsible Investment. She is an expert on ESG issues related to tax transparency and fairness in the financial sector.
Victor Galaz is deputy director and associate professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and programme director at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
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