As a rookie to international negotiations and a curious trainee in CIEL’s five person Environmental Health team, I attended my first Conferences of the Parties of the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm Conventions (BRS COPs) from April 24th to May 5th 2017. The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions regulate the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes … Read More.
From April 24 to May 5, 2017, Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions (BRS) met for the Triple Conference of Parties (COP) in Geneva. The theme of this Triple COP was #detoxify. Surprisingly, of the 1,600 people who attended, very few actually had this theme on their agendas. The national delegates to the … Read More.
By Erika Lennon and Sébastien Duyck Undeterred by the political posturing of the US government, the United Nations climate negotiations continued to make progress towards the development of practical guidelines to assist governments in translating the Paris Agreement into concrete action. For the past two weeks, nearly 200 governments and hundreds of representatives from civil … Read More.
In January, Donald Trump officially withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Today, he notified Congress of his intention to “modernize” and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), starting a 90 day clock on reopening these negotiations. NAFTA, a free trade agreement negotiated by the governments of the United States, Mexico, and Canada, entered into force in January 1994. … Read More.
CIEL and the International Accountability Project designed the Early Warning System to inform people and communities about the existence of development projects that have a high likelihood of impacting their rights. This information involves much more than simply accessing crucial data regarding project design, location, scope, etc. In fact, it creates opportunities for communities to participate … Read More.
On Earth Day – April 22, 2017 – in Washington, DC (and in satellite marches in 600+ cities across the globe) thousands of people will come together in a show of force in the March for Science. We march to show our support for the research, analysis, and methods that seek to solve the most … Read More.
Exxon’s efforts to avoid accountability and the company’s campaign of intimidation against CIEL and partners just hit a huge roadblock… In 2015, the New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General opened investigations into whether ExxonMobil misled consumers, investors, and the public about the science linking the burning of their products to climate change. In an effort … Read More.
The Alto Maipo Hydroelectric Project, currently under construction just outside Santiago, Chile, threatens the water supply for over 7 million Chileans, and will have long-term devastating environmental impacts. Concerned citizens call the project “unviable” and are calling for it to be halted. As Marcela Mella met with World Bank representatives in Washington DC in January, her … Read More.
We dreamed of the day when we could share this news. Last week, the government of El Salvador voted to ban outright all metal mining in the country. The decision makes the small Central American country the first to halt a modern day gold rush, effectively stopping all mining projects in the pipeline. When the … Read More.
By Sébastien Duyck, CIEL Senior Attorney and Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network International Last week in Bonn, the UN climate secretariat convened 196 national governments to consider how specific aspects of the Paris Climate Agreement will be undertaken in each country. The meeting was expected to shape the rules that will ensure … Read More.
Governments must do more to protect the human rights of children as they try to tackle climate change, representatives of the UN and its member states have told high-level panel in Geneva this week. Dozens of states spoke at the meeting, none argued that the rights of children were adequately protected under current policies. The special meeting was convened … Read More.
Although fuels with high sulfur and benzene content are banned in Europe because of their harmful effect on human health, European countries are exporting these fuels to Africa. A recent report by the Swiss NGO Public Eye details the damage caused by these fuels and the underlying factors that support this market. In response to … Read More.
On the website of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, book burning refers to the ritual destruction of written materials by fire. Usually carried out in public, the burning of books represents an element of censorship that proceeds from a cultural, religious, or political opposition to the materials in question. In the United States, we are … Read More.
Recipe for hormone system disruption: Step one – manipulate science and bake regulations for 2.5 years In a recent article in Le Monde, almost a hundred scientists denounced industry’s manipulation of science related to climate change and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The scientists fear that the European Commission’s scientific criteria to identify EDCs ignore the scientific … Read More.
Flemish Member of the European Parliament recommends rejecting the EU-Canada trade and investment deal on health and environmental grounds After the Walloon hero Paul Magnette nearly stopped the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in October of last year, another Belgian politician has taken up his mantle — this time within the European Parliament … Read More.
What is Trillion Dollar Transformation? TDT is a project undertaken by Mercer and CIEL to explore the financial and legal circumstances facing public pension fund fiduciaries in the context of climate change and the financial risks it poses. It encompasses one report each from Mercer and CIEL, and will be followed by in-person events to … Read More.
The Alto Maipo Hydroelectric Project, currently under construction just outside Santiago, Chile, threatens the water supply for over 7 million Chileans, and will have long-term devastating environmental impacts. Concerned citizens call the project “unviable” and are calling for it to be halted. From January 23-26, Marcela Mella, spokesperson of the Citizen Coordinating Committee in Defense of … Read More.
In order to meet stated climate goals, tremendous capital must be shifted from investments in fossil fuels to renewable energy and other clean assets. The divestment movement, which urges investors to eliminate their holdings in fossil fuels, now has over $3.4 trillion in assets under management pledged to divestment. The divestment movement began with an … Read More.
By Ariadni Chatziantoniou and Kelsey Alford-Jones In early November 2016, Panama withdrew the Barro Blanco hydroelectric power plant project from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – the first time a host country has withdrawn a CDM registration due to human rights concerns. Specifically, the project failed to respect the rights of the indigenous Ngäbe people. … Read More.
Two years ago, the early entry into force of the Paris Climate Agreement would have been unthinkable. Today, it is part of a new normal. The world is moving to make its vision of a safer climate a reality, and CIEL is a leader in this fight. But the challenges we face are larger than … Read More.
Reflections by a Venetian on why governments don’t do their best to protect people’s health from chemical pollution. I was born in the beautiful north-Italian region Veneto — the same region where Verona is located, the city of Romeo and Juliet. This spring, though, a toxic pollution scandal shattered into pieces my romantic memories of … Read More.
As the international community prepares for the Paris Climate Agreement to take effect on November 4, there are many reasons to celebrate this historic moment. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shared his reflections: “What once seemed unthinkable is now unstoppable. Strong international support for the Paris Agreement entering into force is a testament to the urgency … Read More.
By Kelsey Alford-Jones of the Center for International Environmental Law and Preksha Kumar of the International Accountability Project For one hour, once a year, World Bank President Jim Kim meets with representatives of international organizations and civil society groups. In years past, the town-hall style meetings have featured people asking questions, providing testimonies and comments, … Read More.
This week, the latest round of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations are underway in New York. More than three years into negotiations of TTIP, the European Union and the United States have hit a wall. Some are blaming this on the demagogic demands of activists. Others say it is a result of … Read More.
Children are particularly affected by environmental degradation and exposed to environmental toxins. While destruction of ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, climate change, industrial emissions, and mining damage the environment, they also affect children’s health worldwide. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, widely ratified, aims to protect children. In the context of the 73rd … Read More.
This week, CIEL is in South Africa for the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES is tasked with regulating the trade of endangered species in order to protect them. One of the most important decisions that will be taken … Read More.
This week, on the tenth anniversary of the illegal dumping toxic waste by the Probo Koala cargo ship in Cote d’Ivoire, United Nations human rights experts call on the Ivorian, Dutch and UK Governments and Tragifura, the multinational commodity trading company, to address the ongoing human rights impacts of the “Probo Koala incident.” The Probo … Read More.
Voice for the People (V4P) is a network of organizations and individuals dedicated to the idea that globalization can and must support local communities and encourage democracy. At V4P, we believe in the power of people to create a better world. People power is responsible for forging our most vital social gains and cherished institutions—from … Read More.
In Latin America, environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) are increasingly targeted for raising concerns about the potential impacts of development projects on local communities’ livelihoods and environments. To address the threats faced by EHRDs in Latin America as they defend the right to a healthy environment, CIEL and Article 19 have published a report called … Read More.
The World Bank is one week away from voting on the new Safeguard policy, and the future of community voices in development projects hangs delicately in the balance. Yet, as it stands, the World Bank Safeguards policy may continue to devalue community voices by failing to require that crucial information on development projects be shared … Read More.
On June 15th, the European Commission presented drafts of two legal acts (for Plant Protection Products and Biocidal Products Regulations) to set criteria for the identification of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). While it has the potential to successfully define endocrine disruptors in order to better protect people and the environment from these chemicals, which have … Read More.
In the aftermath of the deaths of more environmental activists last week, it could not be more clear that governments around the world are unable or unwilling to effectively protect environmental defenders. Following the death of Berta Cáceres and intense international pressure for justice and the protection of her compañer@s, the government of Honduras has … Read More.
Amongst growing international pressure on the Honduran government for the murder of Berta Cáceres, another indigenous environmental activist was murdered last Wednesday in Honduras. Like Cáceres, Lesbia Yaneth Urquía was a member of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) and had opposed a hydroelectric project – this time in San … Read More.
After three decades using the World Bank’s existing environmental and social safeguard policies, the Bank is in the final stages of overhauling its safeguard policy. Recent drafts of the policy indicate it will shift environmental and social accountability onto borrower countries and away from the Bank itself. Civil society and affected communities around the globe … Read More.
The weekend prior to UNEA-2, civil society gathered in the 16th Global Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum in Nairobi, Kenya. For a number of years, this Forum has been the space where organizations interested in UNEP’s work prepare their engagement with UNEP’s Governing Council, now UNEA. But the advent of UNEA in the “new UNEP” … Read More.
Looking back at the genesis of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) could give us a leads on the answer to that pointed question. The architects of the Rio+20 Outcome Document faced the challenge of strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development. In particular, it was recognized then that the UN Environment Program (UNEP) needed … Read More.
Today, Friends of the Earth (FoE) US released a report on ‘Nanoparticles in Baby Formula’ revealing that popular infant formulas sold throughout the United States contain engineered nanomaterials. FoE tested a selection of six baby formula samples gathered from retailers in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. In all six of the baby formulas, nano-sized structures … Read More.
On Tuesday, May 3rd, CIEL President Carroll Muffett testified before the California Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Senate Bill 1161. SB 1161 (also known as the “California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016”) is at once a common-sense measure and a potential landmark in efforts to ensure climate accountability before the courts. … Read More.
Now that I have had some time to reflect on (and recover from) our time in Paris, I want to share some thoughts on what we achieved through our unprecedented campaign to include human rights protections in the 2015 Paris Agreement, and how we got there. This effort was long in the making. Since 2009, … Read More.
The document trove which we call “Smoke And Fumes” actually began under a different name. Internally, the project was referred to as “What They Knew” for most of its life. This reflected the fact that the research was not about finding the needle in the haystack, or one specific smoking gun, but about exploring the … Read More.
The first accountability mechanisms were created more than twenty years ago to allow people and communities negatively affected by projects funded by development finance institutions (DFIs) to seek recourse for harms related to those projects. While low-risk development projects such as education, health, and law reform can improve lives, international development financing for high-risk projects, … Read More.
One month has passed since the assassination of Berta Cáceres. Over the course of that month, the Honduran Government has engaged in a questionable and clandestine investigation into the tragedy, diverting attention away from those with the most likely motive to kill an advocate for indigenous land rights and who sent her death threats, and … Read More.
At the Human Rights Council’s 31st Session’s Side Event “Implementing Human Rights Obligations Relating to the Environment,” I noticed a keen awareness of the link between human rights and the environment within the walls of the UN, but no concrete progress in implementing this connection through policy. Despite what may appear as progress, lofty rhetoric isn’t enough … Read More.
Last week, CIEL joined other civil society organizations in one of the final consultations with the World Bank on the draft revisions to its safeguard policies. But perhaps “revision” is too gentle – a better word might be overhaul. The World Bank’s new proposed safeguard policies mark an attempt to move away from a mandatory … Read More.
Why hazardous pesticides must be phased out Pesticides are designed to kill. And they do. They are used to reduce and kill weeds, insects, rats, and other pests. However, pesticides aren’t nimble killers that eliminate their desired targets and vanish. In truth, pesticides can have a lot of collateral damage – killing bees, bats, amphibians, … Read More.
At the Center for International Environmental Law, we are part of a small community known as watchdogs. While this calls to mind frightening beasts lurking in dark places, we embrace this role. It’s a job that we have been taking seriously for more than 25 years. Today, we are bringing our special brand of legal … Read More.
Right before Christmas, Moody’s announced that it is considering downgrading the credit rating of Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd. (Abbot Point). Abbot Point is the case profiled in CIEL’s Report (Mis)Calculated Risk. CIEL’s report illustrates how rating agencies are failing to incorporate a dynamic change trajectory into their methodologies. This failure may lead rating agencies to … Read More.
Your energy and advocacy sparked a global momentum shift over the past year, and we are on the cusp of true, transformative change. On all fronts, you have defended your right to a healthy planet. With your support, you help CIEL… Advance Climate Justice For three years, we’ve highlighted the growing legal and financial risks … Read More.
It all comes down to early access to information – and access to the decision-makers. In January of this year, our Early Warning System (the first global webtool to centralize information on development bank-funded projects that have the highest likelihood of negative social and environmental impacts) flagged a $400 million World Bank project aiming to … Read More.
By Stacey Morales (EWS Intern) and Carla García Zendejas For 76 years, Mexico had maintained the rights to all energy resources, production and infrastructure in the country. Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the Mexican state-owned petroleum company, was created in 1938 as a solution to the political, labor and economic tensions between the government and U.S. oil … Read More.
Here in Paris, at the negotiations for the next global climate change agreement, delegates from 195 countries are discussing, and arguably deciding, the fate of our future. Following on the commitments those countries made when they joined the 1992 United Nations climate change treaty, they are now trying to create a way forward through 2020 … Read More.
By Stacey Morales and Geffen Kozikaro, Early Warning System Interns As world leaders prepare for the 2015 UN Climate Conference in Paris in late November, the international community must recognize that women—who are the majority of the world’s poor—are among those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, we must … Read More.
The world of development finance is shifting. At the same time that the ultimate legacy multilateral development bank, the World Bank, undergoes a complete transformation of its Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework, a new behemoth is coming online and is quickly preparing to launch: the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). With 57 founding member countries … Read More.
The Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd (Abbot Point), a coal export terminal near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, was the case studied in (Mis)Calculated Risk, which illustrated how rating agencies are failing to incorporate a dynamic change trajectory and thus these agencies could repeat some of the same mistakes that led to the … Read More.
Every fifteen days in the Celendín province of Peru, hundreds of community members trek through the Andes Mountains to participate in a peaceful march to pristine high altitude lakes. Although the backdrop of their activity could be picturesque vacation location, for this group of vigilant protestors, the site has been marred with bloodshed, persecution, and … Read More.
With COP21 on the horizon, countries are kicking their commitments to reduce carbon emissions into high gear. Despite these national commitments, many financial actors are carrying on as though it’s business as usual—in other words, financing projects under the presumption that the current drivers of anthropogenic climate change (the largest being the burning of fossil … Read More.
Hundreds delegates from governments, international organizations, public interest NGOs, and the chemical and pesticide industry just returned from a week-long conference in Geneva. The hot topic? Our health and environment over the next 15 years. Chemicals are in our food, clothes, and children’s toys, in household dusts and on our work floors, in our rivers … Read More.
On September 30, 2015, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a hearing regarding human rights and World Bank lending practices. Three speakers from Ethiopia, Peru, and Kosovo provided case studies about projects funded by the World Bank that infringed upon people’s rights, followed by an impassioned call for change by professor and UN Rapporteur … Read More.
US States’ ability to protect public health and the environment is under attack on two fronts – at home and abroad, but with the same enemy orchestrating the attack: the chemical industry. On the home front, the chemical lobby is aggressively pushing the reform of the outdated and ineffective US federal legislation on chemicals, the … Read More.
Just days before hundreds of world leaders and human rights defenders will convene in Lima, Peru to attend the Annual Meetings of the World Bank, the world is watching the country as a violent confrontation with police over a copper mining project in the Apurimac region has left at least 4 protestors dead and dozens … Read More.
This is part 3 of a 3 part blog series about recent analyses on climate change and finance: Citi’s ENERGY DARWINISM II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth, Economist Intelligence Unit’s The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change, Mercer’s Investing in a Time of Climate … Read More.
Reprinted with permission from the Business and Human Rights Resource Center. This summer, we celebrated a big win for the climate. In a lawsuit brought by Urgenda and nearly 900 co-plaintiffs against the Dutch government (Urgenda Foundation et al. v. The Netherlands), the District Court of The Hague found that the government “acted negligently” when … Read More.
As I wrote about in Part 1 of this blog series, three recent analyses ENERGY DARWINISM II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth, The cost of inaction: Recognising the value at risk from climate change and Investing in a Time of Climate Change considerably add to CIEL’s own analysis (Mis)calculated … Read More.
With the recent tumble in world stock markets, prices for fossil fuels have continued their year-plus collapse. Prices for coal and oil are currently low and volatile and now look to be firmly entrenched in systemic oversupply – not a great status quo for an investment or business proposition. Fossil fuel oversupply and the attendant … Read More.
On July 8, 2015, the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution calling for REACH and other chemical laws to be excluded from the scope of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The European Parliament calls on the EU Commission “to recognise that where the EU and the US have very different rules, there … Read More.
The Early Warning System Survey aims to minimize the existing knowledge gap by ensuring that communities have the information they need to understand proposed projects and their impacts early in the development process, to identify the banks and corporations involved in financing these projects, and to learn about advocacy strategies they can incorporate into their … Read More.
We are in the final stretch. As you may recall, CIEL has been working since 2012 to ensure that the revision and update of the World Bank’s policies that safeguard communities and the environment are stronger and better reflect international law. On August 4, 2015, the World Bank kicked off the much-anticipated third and final … Read More.
Corporate accountability for human rights abuses, such as slavery, torture, forced eviction, and child labor, is an area internationally recognized as needing significant improvement. Through its recent initiatives, the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) is attempting to address this issue and increase access to remedies for victims of business-related human … Read More.
A proposed new provision in the US Customs Bill has potentially severe implications for climate action both in the United States and internationally. The proposed language would amend the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA), better known as “fast track,” by including a US negotiating objective “to ensure that trade agreements do not require changes … Read More.
There was a lot of expectation around Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment entitled “Laudato Si’” or “Praise Be to You.” The papal encyclical deals with current environmental issues, with a special focus on climate change. Undoubtedly, such a document is going to have a meaningful impact on the climate debate at both the international … Read More.
In October, the Special Rapporteur on Right to Food Ms. Hilal Elver will present her report to the Human Rights Council, just a couple of months before the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or CoP21, whose aim is to reach a legally binding agreement to combat climate change. Her … Read More.
Too often, when multi-national corporations violate human rights there is little, if any, accountability – especially if the violations occur in a foreign country. This gap in human rights protection highlights the need for accountability for rights violations caused by a company operating abroad. In November 2013, a group of over 140 civil society organizations … Read More.
In one of my last posts, I noted that for years, Parties, civil society, and indigenous groups have been working out how to simultaneously protect forests and combat climate change, and that the June 2015 climate negotiations would provide a great opportunity to ensure that rights and ecological integrity were at the forefront of this … Read More.
How can REDD+ be implemented without intensifying existing inequalities for women? Given that REDD+ is an international climate initiative with required social, environmental safeguards, how can advocates and community members use international law to advance women’s tenure rights in REDD+? Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) was designed to use forests to address … Read More.
We are now entering the third and final phase of the World Bank safeguards review, with a final draft of the safeguards expected to be released for consultation this July. The safeguards review provides an opportunity to strengthen the Bank’s framework to ensure that human rights are respected in Bank-financed projects. Unfortunately, rather than … Read More.
Let’s seize the opportunities to advance rights related to forests and land in Bonn! Here’s how. Forests play a vital role in supporting the lives and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities, protecting biodiversity, and, yes, mitigating climate change. For years, Parties, civil society and indigenous groups have been working out how to address … Read More.
From May 1st to May 15th, parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions met in Geneva to advance the global management of chemicals. Each of these conventions deals with a distinct aspect of chemical management. Generally speaking: The Basel Convention addresses the question of transboundary movements of waste to ensure that no waste is … Read More.
The land sector accounts for almost one-third of global carbon emissions. Including agriculture, forests, and other land uses, the land sector acts as both a creator and a remover of emissions. Land is central to food production, livelihoods, cultural integrity, and biodiversity. Thus, the sector is unique and plays an important role in both mitigating … Read More.
The Early Warning System is a joint initiative by the International Accountability Project and the Center for International Environmental Law. The Early Warning System ensures local communities, and the organizations that support them, have verified information about projects likely to cause human rights abuses and clear strategies for advocacy. Read more about this initiative here. … Read More.
This week the World Bank Spring Meetings kick off in Washington, DC, and we delivered your important messages. Yesterday, we delivered your message – amplified by more than 10,000 supporters from 90 countries – to the Executive Directors of World Bank: It’s time for World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to integrate human rights into … Read More.
In a landmark case (Urgenda v. Netherlands), the Dutch advocacy group Urgenda will argue today that the Dutch government’s emissions reduction target is not adequate to prevent dangerous climate change and, as a result, poses a threat to human rights in the Netherlands and in countries around the world. Specifically, Urgenda claims that the Dutch … Read More.
Climate Change threatens to destroy the ecological balance of our world… and our pocketbooks? For those who have invested money in fossil fuels, it’s time to be concerned. By Blanche Helbling Communications Intern Two of the largest fossil fuel companies in the world, BP and Shell, each recently received shareholder resolutions asking them to divulge … Read More.
Mexico is on a roll in demonstrating its commitment to address climate change. This week, it was the first developing country to submit its official contribution to the United Nations to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as part of a new international climate agreement. This contribution pledge is also the first and only one to … Read More.
The Australian Embassy is about 8 blocks of traffic, restaurants, and business offices northwest of the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC– I know this because yesterday I walked the distance alongside a group of energized human rights activists. “El Salvador says no to a Kangaroo Court!” To us, the connection between the lunchtime rally … Read More.
How lucky was your St. Paddy’s day this year? Likely, it brought more good fortune than you think. In the modern world we live in, full of high-tech information sharing and copious globalized trade, one might assume transparency measures to be a given aspect of international exchange. The fact of the matter is that such … Read More.
Trade secrets: the fuzzy line between freedom of information and intellectual property rights In late November 2013, the European Commission released its proposed directive on the “protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure” with the objective of reinforcing the protection of so-called trade secrets. This proposal … Read More.
As awareness continues to grow about the impacts of business on people and the environment around the world, companies and trade organizations resort to the old argument that stricter environmental regulations would stymie the economy. Truth be told, studies show that this argument is simply not the case. In an effort to refrain from … Read More.
Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata) is a rare variety of tropical tree valued worldwide for its usefulness as beautiful interior hardwoods. Since 1992, Afrormosia has been listed under Appendix II of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which concerns species that experts fear could verge on extinction if their trade … Read More.
According to some of the most active and experienced environmental journalists in the United States, 2015 stands to bring a series of environmental face-offs, which will culminate in what one speaker timingly nicknamed the ‘Super Bowl of Climate Change’ in Paris this upcoming November. The Woodrow Wilson Center hosted its third annual “Year Ahead in … Read More.
Last month, 295 Stanford professors asked that the university divest from coal. They wrote that to limit global warming to 2°C (the currently-agreed international goal), the global community: “must cap carbon dioxide emissions at 565 gigatons. Because companies currently own fossil-fuel holdings sufficient to produce 2795 gigatons of carbon dioxides, the risk is clear: 2795 … Read More.
After more than three years embroiled in community conflicts, legal complaints, and violence, Tahoe Resources’ (Tahoe) controversial operations at its Escobal silver mine in Guatemala has cost the company a major investor: Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. Last week, Norway’s Government Pension Fund-Global, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, announced it has divested from … Read More.
Under pressure from the global community (including CIEL), Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global has divested from some companies in the fossil fuel industry and is considering divesting from more. The Fund announced this week that during 2014 it divested from more than 20 companies with operations in coal mining, oil sands, and coal-fired power production. … Read More.
Wouldn’t you want to know if your house paint/ golfballs/ make-up/ spinach/ car tires could give you cancer? …How about if they might? Still interested? Deaf to the expressed desires of its citizens and researchers, the European Commission seemingly refuses to acknowledge the essential lack of transparency in the nano industry, instead preferring to rely … Read More.
Sure, your local American drug store may sell very European-sounding makeup, but that is where the similarity ends. The laws that determine which ingredients are allowed are very different: the European Union bans 1300 potentially-hazardous chemicals vs. a mere 11 banned under United States law. Toxic freedom! Cosmetics Europe, which represents over 4000 individual cosmetics … Read More.
US-EU trade agreement threatens to reduce environmental standards in favor of looser pesticide regulations Industry lobbyists are pushing proposals to weaken pesticide regulations in the EU and US under the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Agreement. The ongoing TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US aims primarily to minimize regulatory differences between … Read More.
EU Commission terminates Chief Scientific Advisor position after pressure from CIEL and partners By David Azoulay and Lainey Sidell Science is a critical tool for policy making, in particular on issues relating to human health and the environment. In some cases, science can give very definite answers; in others, there is uncertainty. Recognizing the wider … Read More.
Last month, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) met in Barbados for its 8th session. What’s the GCF? It’s a financial institution that is expected to channel billions of dollars to developing countries to help them in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. (Check out some of our blogs for … Read More.
Dearest Friends, Colleagues, It is hard to believe that a year has passed since we formed the Tri-Caucus to improve coordination between those who focus specifically on rights related to REDD+. As we finalize last-minute logistics for the upcoming UN climate negotiations – the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) in Lima, Peru – I … Read More.
In the world of UN climate negotiations, in which 194 official parties, as well as hundreds of observers and representatives from civil society and indigenous groups, have different and complex agendas and priorities, meaningful progress to reduce emissions is a challenging feat. Ensuring that progress respects human rights and environmental integrity is even more so. … Read More.
Colombia’s thirty-four páramos are unique, high-altitude wetland ecosystems that serve as vital sources of freshwater for nearby inhabitants’ survival. To those who don’t directly rely on a healthy páramo ecosystem for life, however, these highlands have a different draw: precious metals buried deep beneath the surface. Therein lies the problem. In 1994, Greystar Resources Limited, … Read More.