Victor Galaz, deputy director and associate professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
The role of “tax havens” in the global economy has gained increasing attention in recent years. The disclosure of classified files from the law firms Appleby in 2017 (known as the “Paradise Papers”), and Mossack Fonseca in 2016 (known as the “Panama Papers”), has brought to light the intricate ways in which these financial secrecy jurisdictions lead to reduced transparency and substantial losses of tax revenue globally. However, limited systematic consideration has been given to the possible links between the use of such jurisdictions, and economic activities that undermine global environmental resources of critical importance for climate stability and sustainability. In this talk, I will present research that examines the links between corporate use of tax havens and resource extraction from two key global environmental commons – the global oceans and the Amazon rainforest. I will highlight key research challenges, research frontiers, and proposed actions for policy that would put tax havens on the global sustainability agenda. I will also briefly elaborate some intriguing legal challenges associated with this line of research.
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