Corporations deliberately and intentionally work to ensure that decisions made in national and multilateral regulatory spaces are designed to protect their interests and allow their extractivist and polluting activities to continue—thus securing their steady flow of profits.
By the same token, States and decision-makers have an interest in protecting the investments of private and transnational corporations, in order to demonstrate success to the public—as measured by macroeconomic indicators. They also have a personal stake in their own financial gain, derived from the “feasibility” of “economic activities” that harm people and the environment.
Government complicity is the result of a lack of political will to effect profound transformations as well as the petty interests of personal enrichment that government officials are used to. In many cases, “government complicity” is a more appropriate term than “corporate capture,” to avoid sending a romantic or paternalistic message about the government in office.
Sadly, multilateral spaces like the United Nations have been captured by transnational corporations. This has allowed the crises of climate, food, housing, sanitation, and health to become matters of business rather than emergencies to be resolved immediately.
Download the Climate Justice Glossary: