7 December 2021 – Financial Action Task Force (FATF) President Dr. Marcus Pleyer calls for a global push to take the illicit profits out of environmental crimes, at a high-level FATF conference involving the public, private, not-for-profit sectors and academia. Environmental crimes generate around USD 110 to USD 281 billion in criminal gains each year and include illegal logging, illegal mining, waste dumping and other crimes.
“Tackling money laundering linked to environmental crime is an often overlooked part of a much larger solution to helping save our climate,” said Dr. Pleyer in his opening remarks. “At the moment, far too often, criminals and their gangs are getting away with it. They make billions from looting our planet.”
For the first time, heads of international organisations including the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) met with the FATF to discuss how to develop partnerships to tackle the dirty money that helps fuel environmental crimes. Fellow keynote speakers Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, and Dr. Dame Jane Goodall, primatologist and ethologist, also emphasised the need for coordinated action.
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, spoke to the conference and called on the public and private sectors to act on the findings of the FATF’s reports on environmental crime and the illegal wildlife trade.
“Countries need to make it a priority to follow the money from environmental crimes including the illegal wildlife trade,” said Prince William. “Now is the time for action. We need to draw on the collective expertise across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to identify these criminal networks and bring them to justice.”