Memos and Briefing Notes

How Oil and Gas Companies Can Help Meet the Global Goals on Energy and Climate Change

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be… read more

Submission on the Draft General Comment on “State Obligations Under the ICESCR in the Context of Business Activities”

In January 2017 CCSI made a submission to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, regarding its draft General Comment on “State obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Context of Business Activities.” CCSI’s submission focused on: (1) host and home states’ obligations as they relate to international… read more

Beyond Trade Deals: Charting a Post-Brexit Course for UK Investment Treaties

The Brexit referendum has raised questions about the future terms of the United Kingdom’s engagement with the world economy. While a debate over the UK’s future approach to trade deals has already begun, a similar discussion has yet to develop on the treaties that govern foreign investment. As this briefing note by Lorenzo Cotula of the… read more

Submission to OPIC on Revisions to its Environmental and Social Policy Statement

In November 2016, CCSI sent a submission to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) regarding its draft revised Environmental and Social Policy Statement (ESPS). CCSI’s input focused on two discrete issues that CCSI has been working on: (1) contract transparency for natural resource and infrastructure projects, and (2) redress for harms in the context of… read more

220+ Law and Economics Professors Sign Letter Opposing ISDS in the TPP

CCSI helped launch a letter joined by over 220 law and economics professors calling on Congress to oppose the final Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement because that treaty includes the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. As the letter notes, the ISDS mechanism “threatens to dilute constitutional protections, weaken the judicial branch and outsource our domestic legal system… read more

Submission to the SEC on Addressing Land Tenure Risks Through Regulation S-K

In July 2016, CCSI sent a submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide input into how land tenure risks could be addressed through disclosure requirements for public companies. The SEC was seeking input into modernizing business and financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K, including whether Regulation S-K should be amended to require… read more

Land Deals and the Law: Grievances, Human Rights, and Investor Protections

Land-based investments can create significant grievances for local individuals or communities, and host governments seeking to address those grievances must navigate a complicated landscape of legal obligations and pragmatic considerations. This briefing note, funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development, focuses on practical solutions for governments confronting grievances that arise from large-scale… read more

Recommending Transparency in Land-Based Investment: A Summary of Relevant Guidelines and Principles

An emerging consensus on the need for greater transparency in land-based investment is increasingly evident across various forums. This document consolidates recommendations regarding transparency featured in guidelines and principles published by international organizations, government agencies, and multilateral or multi-stakeholder groups. Viewed together, these recommendations offer insight on the evolving narrative on transparency in land-based investment,… read more

Transparency in Land-Based Investment: Key Questions and Next Steps

Large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry are often shrouded in secrecy. In many cases, they are negotiated without the involvement of affected communities, approved through opaque decision-making procedures, and governed by legal agreements that are difficult both to access and to understand. This systemic lack of transparency impedes accountability and exacerbates ongoing disagreements about the… read more

Emerging Practices in Community Development Agreements

A Community Development Agreement or CDA can be a vital mechanism for ensuring that local communities benefit from large-scale investment projects, such as mines or forestry concessions. In formalizing agreements between an investor and a project-affected community, CDAs set out how the benefits of an investment project will be shared with local communities. In some… read more