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What the Climate Crisis Means for Land Rights

By Nathan Lobel
August 20, 2019

The climate crisis will reshape our relationships to land around the world. Journalist David Wallace-Wells warns that, once the planet warms 2°C above preindustrial levels — the target set by the Paris Agreement — “major cities in the equatorial band of the planet will become unlivable,” and 400 million more people will suffer from regional water scarcity. At 3°C of warming — the expected result of Paris Agreement policy pledges by 2100 — world agriculture systems could struggle to meet global caloric demand and droughts are projected to plague much of India and Pakistan, the Mediterranean, Central America, the western United States, and Australia. At 4°C, closer to where current policies will lead us by the century’s close, rising seas could swallow land currently occupied by 470 to 760 million people.

The Challenges to Chinese Extractive Investment in Latin America: A South – South Conversation

By Cynthia Sanborn and Weijun Xie
February 21 – March 9, 2019

Cynthia Sanborn, of the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru, recently interviewed Weijun Xie, Vice President of China Minmetals Rare Earth Co., Ltd, and a fellow member of the Executive Session on the Politics of Extractive Industries, about the rising prominence of Chinese companies in the world extractive industry. Their conversation addresses the larger political concerns for Chinese investors as they enter into an investment world historically dominated by European and American companies. It also addresses the on-the-ground political challenges of effective communication, transparency and consultation that affect all extractive industry investments, but particularly new and growing enterprises such as those coming out of China.

Going Beyond Revenues in Extractive Sector Governance: But How?

By Nicola Woodroffe, Perrine Toledano and Jeff Geipel
August 14, 2019

Extractive projects can generate substantial revenues for host countries, and discoveries often bring hopes of jobs, development and newfound wealth. But they also generate a range of negative environmental and social effects, which can have direct and significant economic implications. At the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) global conference in Paris, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the Mining Shared Value (MSV) initiative of Engineers Without Borders held an event that delved into how we can better measure, value and report on the non-fiscal impacts of extraction, alongside fiscal impacts.

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How Much CO2 is Embedded in a Product? Toward an Emissions Calculation Framework for the Minerals Industry

By Paolo Natali, Suzanne Greene, and Perrine Toledano
August 14, 2019

The embedded carbon content of any product is largely unknown to the final consumer. Very few consumers are aware of the carbon that has been generated in the production and delivery of products and, as a consequence, virtually nobody takes action to abate these emissions. The MIT Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment, and Rocky Mountain Institute’s Materials initiative have formed a working group to engage minerals producers, end users, investors, and other stakeholders interested in carbon accounting.

Arbitrating Human Rights Disputes: The Proposal for Business and Human Rights Arbitration Rules and Lessons Learned from the Bangladesh Accord Arbitrations

By Rumbidzai Maweni
July 10, 2019

In June 2019, the Business and Human Rights Arbitration Working Group, a private group of international lawyers and academics, published the Draft Arbitration Rules on Business and Human Rights, an initiative which proposes to create an international private judicial dispute resolution avenue for parties involved in business and human rights disputes. This post reviews the proposal in light of recent attempts to address business and human rights in the context of international arbitration with a specific focus on the Bangladesh Accord arbitrations.

Mary Ndaro Alumni Profile

In this alumni profile, Mary Ndaro, Coordinator for Ardhi Yetu program at CARE International, Tanzania, and a 2017 Executive Training alumnus, addresses women’s land rights, capacity building for civil society organizations, and grassroots engagement around land policies and investments.

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What happened at UNCITRAL’s April WG III Session? What will happen next?

By Lise Johnson
May 3, 2019

From April 1-5, 2019, 106 governments met under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in New York to discuss how to reform the controversial system of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) presently embedded in thousands of international investment treaties. Intergovernmental organizations, development banks, and dozens of other organizations from around the world participated as official observers. This blog discusses five key takeaways.

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Ørsted’s Burbo Bank offshore wind farm, off the northeastern coast of the U.K.

Lessons Learned From an Energy Company’s Green Transformation

By Nicolas Maennling
April 15, 2019

Ørsted, formerly Danish Oil and Natural Gas Energy, is one of few energy companies to transition primarily to renewable energy from fossil fuels. CCSI had the pleasure to talk with Jakob Askou Bøss, head of strategy and communication at Ørsted, about lessons learned from Ørsted’s transition, and their implications for other energy companies hoping to succeed in a decarbonized economy.

UNCITRAL’s PPP Legislative Guide Must be Fit for Today’s PPPs

By Motoko Aizawa and Brooke Guven
March 29, 2019

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is expected to adopt in July an updated Legislative Guide on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). Absent a fundamental reorientation of the most recently available draft, the UN stands to miss a huge opportunity to help countries achieve Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here is why.

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Legal Empowerment in Liberia: An Interview with Green Advocates

By Nadra Rahman
March 22, 2019

To give rural communities more leverage in the decisions that affect their lands, Liberian NGO Green Advocates has been using OpenLandContracts.org to deepen understanding of land contracts and empower rights holders to participate in decision-making.

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