Shining a light on company ownership: The role of beneficial ownership transparency in the energy transition


As part of a wider set of governance reforms, beneficial ownership transparency can support countries in achieving a just energy transition. The transition will need to include a shift away from fossil fuels, and there is already rapid growth in demand and investment at every link of clean energy value chains. Beneficial ownership transparency can improve governance and management in both emerging clean energy industries and the fossil fuel sector, by continuing to address known risks in extractives industries, curbing the threat of social, economic and political challenges associated with resource rich countries, and increasing accountability and transparency in both government and private spending through the transition.

Multiple actors have a role to play in achieving meaningful and continuing reform of the global standards on beneficial ownership transparency. We recommend that producer and consumer governments and companies proactively adopt beneficial ownership transparency in the energy and extractive industries. Governments can use beneficial ownership information to improve revenue generation and the oversight of state-owned enterprises. Companies can use it to improve risk management, ESG standards and emissions accounting. Finally, we recommend civil society monitor reforms, and use beneficial ownership data to hold actors in the public and private sector to account.