Evaded taxes could more than cover global biodiversity needs

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A recent paper published by Dr. Jessica Dempsey and graduate students Adriana DiSilvestro and Audrey Irvine-Broque (et al.) highlights that the taxes evaded by large corporations could more than cover the expenditure needed to preserve global biodiversity.

For some countries, the expenditure gap is profound. In Vietnam, tax avoidance costs nearly four times the amount required annually for the country’s Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan. In Peru, lost taxes are valued at 16 times that of the gap in biodiversity finance every year.

The paper, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, proposes that an international tax convention is needed to adequately address biodiversity loss by ensuring that corporations pay their fair and legal share.

The authors also call for debt justice in the Global South, which bears a disproportionate burden due to historic and ongoing colonialism and exploitation. 84% of International Monetary Fund loans approved at the start of the pandemic required austerity measures of the recipient countries.

Debt in the Global South, and these conditions on which it is offered, drive the growth of extractive industry and the loss of biodiversity.

Read the paper in full at Nature Ecology & Evolution.