Friends of the Earth International calculates that government revenue lost to tax havens over a 15 year period could power Africa, Latin America and much of Asia with 100% renewable energy. Globally every year up to $600 billion dollars of government revenue is lost through tax avoidance through havens, to say nothing of tax evasion (1). Put another way, government revenue lost through tax havens could power half the world with 100% renewable energy by 2030. This would bring renewable energy to millions, while protecting the environment from dirty fossil fuels and the climate change they cause.

This report is a wake up call to policy makers, NGOs and governments alike. It is not a policy position on how governments’ should spend all revenue lost through the use of tax havens, nor a technical blueprint for a renewable energy future. Friends of the Earth International believes that the energy transformation process will be and must be complex. It involves not just changing the energy source from fossil fuels to renewable energy, but a deeper transformation including democratic ownership of renewable energy resources. This is a call to work together on new and innovative ways to address the crises threatening our planet and its people.

(1). A. Crivelli, R. de Mooij and M. Keen (2015). Base Erosion, Profit Shifting and Developing Countries, IMF Working Paper 15/118. 

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Thanks to Alex Cobham from the Tax Justice Network for providing important input and feedback.