Corruption’s impact on the environment is primarily via it’s impact on legislators and regulatory agencies – the more corrupt the government is, the more likely it is to prioritize short-sighted profits for the private sector over long-term environmental sustainability. Combined with all of the other problems that our environment faces, this adds up to a worrying environmental outlook, despite the efforts of scientists and environmentalists to turn things around.
Probably the most blatant example of this has been the very large amount of money spent by a variety of businesses, particularly in the energy industry, to deny that climate change is happening and to confuse the public about the science and the basic facts. In the face of overwhelming data that atmospheric CO2 is rising, the Arctic ice is shrinking, weather is getting more violent and erratic, and sea level is rising, large corporations have been paying a tiny handful of “scientists” to fudge data and attack the people doing real science in a complicated field. Even more corporate money has been devoted to campaign contributions to tame politicians who repeat the denials in official circles and promise to obstruct any meaningful climate policies. Meanwhile, CO2 has risen past 400 parts per million and “100 year storms” are happening every few years.