For example Brazil’s Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) which is world’s largest corruption investigation, involves an ongoing criminal investigation of corruption at state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), where a vast and intricate web of political and corporate racketeering involved the heads of states of 12 countries: Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama and the UK trade minister who lobbied the company on behalf of oil giants to relax Brazilian environmental and tax laws.
So far, Operation Car Wash has resulted in more than 300 indictments, 100 convictions of businessmen and politicians, including but not limited to former Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence; former Brazil President Michel Temer, who has been arrested; former Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached; former Peru President Alan Garcia who shot and killed himself moments before the police attempted to arrest him.
Petrobras paid criminal penalties to the U.S. and Brazilian authorities a combined total of $1.8 billion to resolve the U.S. government’s investigation into violations of the FCPA in connection with Petrobras’s role in facilitating payments to politicians and political parties in Brazil, as well as a related Brazilian investigation. And $2.95 billion to settle a U.S. class action corruption lawsuit, in what was said to be the biggest such payout in the U.S. by a foreign entity for making materially false and misleading statements to U.S. investors in a $10 billion stock offering completed in 2010.
Transparency to corrupt corporate transnational payments to foreign government officials to thwart environmental law/tax
On the topic of lobbying and corruption payments made to influence environmental laws/taxes, I co-authored with Roger Russell, Esq an article published by the OECD after the U.S. rescinded in 2017 a U.S. Securities Exchange Commission rule that would have required oil companies to disclose details of their payments to international governments in connection with oil and gas production and also withdrew its efforts to be validated under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
This article proposed to establish a streamlined global standard for payment disclosure to foreign governments, as a part of OECD’s Country-by-Country Report (CbCR) for multinational companies, to bring transparency to lobbying and corruption payments. The CbCR is part of OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) transparency initiative and is adopted in 77 countries including the U.S., to provide a template for multinational enterprises to report annually and for each tax jurisdiction in which they do business in. Because, without payment transparency, it’s even more difficult to ensure oil deals, lobbying efforts to change a country’s climate law/tax policy, pursued by major oil companies are free from corruption. The CbCR, is automatically exchanged with other governments and is publicly disclosed in the EU. So far:
- Norway mandates hydrocarbon companies to disclose payments; and
- U.S. mandates all multinational companies -- including hydrocarbon companies-- to disclose cryptocurrency and property (such as gold, cryptocurrency mining machines etc.) payments on the CbCR for each tax jurisdiction in which the company conducts business in since 2017-- as I explain in detail in another article.
Tax deduction for charitable donations in cryptocurrency for environmental disasters caused by climate change
There is strong body of scientific evidence that most of the global warming observed over the past half century is very likely due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, making Atlantic hurricanes fiercer, driving up the number of storms that rapidly intensify, becoming more lethal and difficult to forecast, according to new research led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In the U.S., in the absence of mechanisms to address the failure of free-markets to consider environmental costs and damages from hurricanes, these costs are shouldered by good Samaritans who make charitable donations to fund recovery efforts from climate change related environmental disasters, such as:
- Mike Bloomberg, U.N.’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, who donated $8.5 billion to fund his Beyond Carbon initiative to fight climate change and shutter coal-fired power plants by working across sectors and with a variety of partners globally to transition to a green energy economy by lowering the policy and market barriers to renewables and low-carbon, solar energy solutions;
- Country music artist Kenny Chesney who composed the Song for the Saints album and is donating the proceeds from this album and tour to fund his Love-for-Love-City Foundation to finance post-hurricane Irma rescue and rebuilding projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands including solar power projects;
- Methodist church goers from Roanoke and New River, Virginia who contributed funds to buy solar panels for people in hurricane Irma and Maria-ravaged Puerto Rico.
I wrote an article explaining how to claim a U.S. tax deduction for charitable donations of cryptocurrency to organizations addressing environmental conditions that may have been caused, in part, by the enhanced CO2 emissions caused by coal fueled cryptomining and trading of cryptocurrency.
Is Solar Power Adoption Hindered by an Inadequate Global Environmental Tax Policy?
I wrote an article that explores how a global shift towards green energy will require the removal of the technological/infrastructural, financial and regulatory/tax policy barriers. Since transitioning to green energy-- 69% solar-- can be accomplished globally, in an economically competitive way, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy system to zero by 2050. My article evaluates the tax and solar policies (including space power satellites) of the top six CO2 emitting countries: China, U.S., EU, India, Russia and Japan.
Blockchain tracks deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest Selva
Scientific evidence suggests that climate change caused by CO2 emissions which is at its highest historic levels, has been increasing drought, the length of the fire season, the size of the area burned each year and the number of wildfires which are causing deforestation all over the world.
Deforestation is the second leading cause of global warming and produces about 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Scientist say that deforestation in tropical rainforests adds more CO2 to the atmosphere than the sum total of all the cars and trucks on the world’s roads. In some countries, such as Brazil and Indonesia, deforestation and forest degradation together are by far the main source of national greenhouse gas emissions. Combating deforestation could deliver more than a quarter of the carbon reductions needed by 2030 to avert a climate crisis and is one of the most promising and cost-effective ways to lower CO2 emissions.
I wrote an article about Brazil’s blockchain initiatives and digital tax laws, which mentions that Brazil has developed a blockchain technology platform for property registration - for the world’s fifth largest country occupying half of South America's land mass - to protect millions of trees in the Amazon rainforest “Selva”. The aim of the initiative is to spare illicit development of the biggest, most bio-diverse nature reserve in the world. The southern city of Pelotas is among the first in Brazil to experiment with a fully computer-based Blockchain-based land-titling system.