Research + Extractive Industries
Projects By Topic
Tracking Impacts and Making Effective Use of Environmental Impact Assessments for Guinea’s Bauxite Mining
As part of a two-year funded research project co-sponsored by the Earth Frontiers Seed Grant of Columbia’s Earth Institute and the UN Development Programme in Guinea, led by Principal Investigator Lynnette Widder, CCSI is conducting a legal review of the current environmental and political framework for regulating the mining industry in Guinea.
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. Manufacturing solar panels, wind turbine and batteries to power cleaner energies is set to significantly increase the demand for co-called “critical” minerals. Such a forecast prompts high expectations in mineral-rich countries and suggests promising opportunities for developing countries. However, the projects to increase the primary extraction… read more
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.
Extractive industry investments are oftentimes divisive. Those that support a project, will likely emphasize the benefits resulting from tax revenues and employment. Those that oppose the project, will often highlight the adverse impacts on the environment and impacted communities. To date, this debate can be informed by several tools. On the benefit side, stakeholders can… read more
CCSI is researching the politics of FPIC —how the distribution of power across different actors, the (mis)alignments of their interests, and characteristics of political systems and broader structures affect whether and how FPIC processes unfold in order to surface existing strategies that account for political realities and to recommend future strategies that may lead to the improved realization of the right to FPIC.
Mine sites that are remote often rely on expensive off-grid solutions to generate power. Use of renewable energy could be a cost-reducing solution for mine sites, and CCSI is researching how to leverage the power demand from mines to deploy renewables in developing countries.
The allocation of the rights to tax business profits of non-resident entities’ operations depends on whether these operations can constitute a “Permanent Establishment” (PE) according to the definition included in each DTA. CCSI’s research and brief looks at this issue in the context of extractives and provides a sample clause that optimizes the PE definition for resource rich countries.
As part of a 3-year grant from Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), CCSI worked with the Columbia Water Center to develop and benchmark a modeling platform for quantitatively assessing the environmental risks associated with gold and copper mining projects and their resulting financial implications.
CCSI has been exploring the strategies fossil fuel companies have embraced in order to address climate change concerns, and the strategies responsible investors could potentially request from fossil fuel companies in order to move towards a decarbonized economy.
CCSI is working to develop a regulatory and operational framework that would unlock the value of the Associated Petroleum Gas that is currently wasted, in order to improve energy efficiency, expand access to energy, and contribute to climate change mitigation.
CCSI examined the advantages and disadvantages of different mineral regimes (licensing regimes vs. contractual arrangements) in 18 countries around the world. For the 13 countries that used mining contracts, CCSI further examined the contract negotiation and implementation processes of 30 mining contracts as well as the relationship between those countries’ mining contracts and their legal regimes. CCSI also identified potential opportunities for external experts to support resource rich, low income countries in contract negotiations.
Community Development Requirements: Laws, Best Practices, and Community Development Agreements Database
CCSI has a growing portfolio of activities regarding community development requirements and community development agreements (CDAs) that includes: (i) mapping domestic legal requirements for community development in the context of mining projects; (ii) policy and research on best practices around CDAs and benefit sharing for extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects; and (iii) regularly maintained collection of publicly available community agreements relating to extractive, agricultural, and forestry projects.
This study surveyed the trend toward countries integrating competitive bidding provisions for mineral rights allocation into their national legislation and regulations, and sought to analyze the potential issues around these provisions.
In September 2015, the UN member states agreed on a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which represent the global agenda for equitable, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable economic development until 2030. Mining companies have the potential to become leading partners in achieving the SDGs. Through their direct operations, mining companies can generate profits, employment, and economic growth in low-income countries.
How International Oil Companies Could Assist Greece to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter
This policy paper wishes to be a timely contribution towards a fruitful debate among stakeholders; it urges International Oil Companies (IOCs) to examine how the critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Greece can be integrated into their core business so that the oil and gas industry can contribute to the country’s sustainable growth.
How International Oil Companies Could Assist the Republic of Cyprus to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: A Conversation Starter
This policy paper is addressed to International Oil Companies (IOCs), public officials and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in the natural gas industry in Cyprus. There is currently no conversation happening in Cyprus on how the oil and gas industry could help Cyprus achieve their Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, this paper hopes to initiate a debate and conversation around this topic.
In partnership with the World Economic Forum, CCSI curated the Transformation Map of the Mining and Metals sector; it maps out the seven drivers that are already and will continue transforming the mining and metals sector.
CCSI is researching how the development of green technology could impact the demand for “critical” minerals.
CCSI, in partnership with the Sciences Po Law School Clinic and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, has developed a collaborative approach to human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of private sector investment projects. Although HRIAs have become increasingly prominent in recent years, one specific challenge is the frequent lack of trust between communities and companies, which often extends to distrust of HRIAs that “the other side” has initiated. A collaborative approach to HRIAs provides an avenue to jointly undertake an HRIA that is considered credible by all sides and that helps to address the power imbalances that often exist between companies and communities around private sector projects.
CCSI strongly supports the transparency of contracts and tax flows and has published research and papers making the business case for transparency, including two submissions to the SEC in 2011 and 2015.
Monitoring fiscal reforms in extractive industries is an ongoing part of CCSI’s research.
CCSI is researching aspects of designing and implementing fiscal regimes in an attempt to identify legal and fiscal elements that can help avoid unintended consequences or disputes between an investor and the government over the course of the investment.
CCSI has published a brief which examines the use of built-in review periods in extractive industry contracts as a mechanism for managing investor and host-country relations over the duration of a project. CCSI completed a survey of periodic review mechanisms contained in extractive industry contracts, to analyze how they have been used to date, and to understand the purposes for which they may usefully be applied.
Contract transparency in natural resources is an emerging norm that many governments, companies and international institutions have endorsed, particularly within the extractive industries. However, more must be done to make contract transparency a standardized and meaningful norm that leads to better accountability within the extractive industries, as well as around investments in land, agriculture, and forestry.
The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and CCSI have conducted a world-wide survey of Natural Resource Funds (NRF). The survey considers NRF management, investments, transparency, and accountability to the public, as well as the fiscal rules that govern them. This project seeks to foster cross-country experience-sharing on fund governance.
CCSI, in collaboration with the Carter Center, is developing two economic models for the Sicomines mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to compare the financial flows under the resource for infrastructure deal with a ‘traditional’ contract under the mining code of the DRC.
Contract Comparison Research: Using the ResourceContracts.org contract comparison tool, CCSI is researching local content and water provisions respectively in oil, gas, and mining contracts from select countries, supplementing and situating the analysis in the context of the projects to which the contracts apply to understand the impact of such provisions on water availability for communities surrounding a project, and the realization of local content objectives.