Reports and Policy Papers

Don’t Throw Caution to the Wind: In the Green Energy Transition, Not All Critical Minerals Will Be Goldmines

The green energy transition will be exceedingly mineral intensive and rosy forecasts for projected mineral demand are suggesting promising opportunities for developing countries. This paper highlights uncertain terrain upon which these bullish forecasts rest. Governments, international actors and mining advocates seeking to optimize the value of green energy mineral reserves should heed caution when pursuing and promoting the mining of critical minerals. This paper offers specific recommendations.

A Review of Sierra Leone’s Mines and Minerals Act

With the support of Oxfam, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment reviewed select provisions in the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 and corresponding policy statements from the Minerals Policy 2018 to provide recommendations for how to best align the anticipated new mining law with international best practice. The 2009 law was reviewed with a focus on the… read more

Concrete Measures for a Framework on Investment Facilitation for Development: Report

Based on a number of background papers and discussions during an Expert Workshop, this report identifies 12 concrete measures that could be included in the Framework on Investment Facilitation for Development being negotiated in the WTO.

Ensuring Economic Viability and Sustainability of Coffee Production

Coffee, the world’s favorite beverage, provides livelihoods for at least 60 million people across dozens of countries. Yet this beloved drink is experiencing a sustainability crisis.

Preparing Legal Frameworks for Environmental Disasters: Practical Considerations for Host States

This report sets forth specific steps that host-governments can take during the pre-investment, operation, and enforcement phases of extractives projects to provide financial and other protection in the context of environmental disasters associated with private sector investments.

Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related to the Environment

Policymakers and environmental advocates have often overlooked how provisions granted by states in international investment agreements (IIAs) have been used by investors to challenge government measures taken in the public interest to protect the environment and advance environmental justice.

Aligning Investment Treaties with Sustainable Development

Policy makers and other stakeholders are currently asking fundamental questions about whether and to what extent international investment agreements (IIAs) are consistent with and are helping to advance sustainable development objectives at home and abroad. A 2019 paper from CCSI examines the alignment of IIAs with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, arguing that while FDI will play an… read more

Advancing Sustainable Development by Facilitating Sustainable FDI, Promoting CSR, Designating Recognized Sustainable Investors, and Giving Home Countries a Role

By Karl P. Sauvant, Resident Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, and Evan Gabor, J.D. candidate, Columbia Law School. Foreign direct investment (“FDI”) can be an important vehicle for development. However, in recent years, the focus has not just been on development generally, but sustainable development specifically. Thus, this paper focuses on how countries… read more

Linkages to the Mining Sector in Colombia

At the request of the Colombian Government and with the support of GIZ, CCSI prepared a policy brief focused on linkages from the mining sector in Colombia. The brief gives an overview of existing regulatory requirements, government policies and company programs to foster economic and infrastructure linkages. Based on the findings, the brief provides suggestions… read more

Outcome Report on the Climate Crisis, Global Land Use and Human Rights Conference

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights. Held at… read more