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To further and fully understand how to plan for the decarbonization of mining value chains, we need better data on carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, neither consumers, corporates, or financial institutions know the embodied emissions in the products they produce or sell. While methods like life-cycle analysis and environmental product declarations exist, none use… read more
Equipping the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the Low-Carbon Transition How Are Other National Oil Companies Adapting?
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) persistent governance challenges have both hampered Nigeria’s oil sector development and deprived the country of public resources. The oil, climate, and COVID-19 crises and the ramp-up of the low-carbon transition exacerbate this reality, with the national oil company (NOC) delivering sub-optimal returns to its stakeholders. Other NOCs have taken… read more
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
As with all regions of the world, Africa must urgently consider its energy future. Africa is rich in zero-carbon energy sources, including hydroelectric, solar, geothermal, and offshore wind energy, varying by region. It is also in urgent need of scaling up modern energy services as per SDG 7, especially 100% access to electrification and safe… 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.
CCSI conducted a study that maps a selection of the major initiatives designed to promote good governance of the extractives sector for GIZ. The mapping describes the scope and use of each initiative and highlights areas where initiatives overlap in their approach and focus. The mapping provides recommendations on the applicability of different subsets of frameworks and initiatives to different tasks and circumstances.
This program is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills to promote the responsible development of the extractive industries sector in resource-rich developing countries and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe.
Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mining Governance (self-paced MOOC)
CCSI, Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), the World Bank and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) are pleased to offer a massive open online course (MOOC) on Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas and Mining Governance. This MOOC, (delivered in English, with video transcripts also available in French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic),… read more
Extractive Sector: Sustainability and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (Massive Open Online Course)
Together with the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), CCSI is pleased to announce the launch of a massive open online course (MOOC) on the Extractive Sector: Sustainability and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. This MOOC, (delivered in English, with video transcripts/subtitles and… read more
CCSI regularly delivers adapted versions of the Executive Training Program on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development in various host-countries around the world.
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.
In September 2018, CCSI launched OpenCommunityContracts.org, a collection of publicly available agreements between local communities and investors. In some instances, the repository also features agreements that include host government parties. The agreements featured on the repository include benefit sharing agreements, leases, memoranda of understanding (MOUs), and revenue sharing agreements concluded in the context of agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas extraction, renewable energy, and other natural resource projects.
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.
The Executive Session on the Politics of Extractive Industries (ES on PEI) is a policy innovation lab led by a group of experts – academics and practitioners – from across the world. Focusing on PEI entails grappling with the ways in which power, interests, incentives and characteristics of political systems shape how extractive industry projects are developed, their ultimate outcomes, and often the fate of governance interventions designed to improve these. The purpose of ES on PEI is to produce practical insights and actionable strategies for addressing the political aspects of governance of the EI sector.
CCSI, together with the World Bank and Natural Resource Governance Institute, has developed ResourceContracts.org, an online, searchable and user-friendly database of publicly available oil, gas and mining contracts from around the world. Users can search contracts by country, by natural resource or by type of contract; view summaries of key social, environmental, fiscal, and operational provisions; and download full contracts.
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.
CCSI provides ongoing support to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) Thematic Group 10 on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources. This has included technical support on reports and documents during the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as development of potential indicators to measure progress toward the SDGs. In addition, CCSI and the Thematic Network have worked together on several projects to identify research gaps and generate innovative solutions.
Designing a Legal Regime to Capture Capital Gains Tax on Indirect Transfers of Mineral and Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide
Building on the momentum created by the Platform for Collaboration on Tax’s draft paper regarding taxing indirect transfers of source country assets, CCSI and the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) wrote a paper providing practical guidance to developing country governments on the taxation of indirect transfers of extractive industries’ assets. Indirect transfers occur when—instead of selling the asset—the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in the country, or the shares of the holding company are sold.
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.
Alongside growing revenue and contract transparency, increasing fiscal model transparency is needed. Only with financial model transparency can relevant actors better assess whether contracts are balanced in terms of fiscal returns and understand when revenues start flowing to the government. CCSI strongly supports financial model transparency and has developed two open fiscal models. We are currently welcoming feedback on their usefulness, user-friendliness, and on any observed inaccuracies.
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.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the world’s comprehensive post-2015 agenda for equitable, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable economic development. Meeting the SDGs by 2030 will require unprecedented cooperation and collaboration among governments, non-governmental organizations, development partners, the private sector and communities. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDG framework calls upon the private sector to incorporate the goals into its practices and operations. CCSI is working with a leading energy company to align its sustainability strategy to the SDGs.
CCSI is supporting the local governments in Huasco Province, Chile, to develop a roadmap for a long-term development strategy that will take into account the large-scale mining investment by Nueva Union, a joint venture of Teck and Goldcorp. The copper-gold mining project is expected to make up 60% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Province during operations and will alter the socio-economic dynamics in the Province.
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 created and manages the Negotiation Support Portal to improve the accessibility of tools, resources and technical assistance to support host governments’ planning, preparing for, negotiating, monitoring, and implementing large-scale resource and infrastructure investments. The portal also facilitates coordination among support providers and host governments. In addition, CCSI has launched a series of meetings of negotiation support providers to create a forum to discuss common challenges and opportunities, and to facilitate greater coordination among support providers.
CCSI has launched an interview series on “company personalities” looking in particular at how a company’s personality determines its negotiation strategy, the contractual provisions it pushes for, and the overall relationship between the company and the host governments. The interviewees are senior experts who have many decades of experience in advising governments in resource rich countries.
This 2011 project examined how the vast resource deposits in the Tete province, combined with other major investments along the Nacala and Beira corridors, can be the basis for sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth in the Lower Zambezi Basin.
In partnership with the Uongozi Institute, CCSI prepared a brief that reviews recent developments in the international gas market, with particular focus on proposed offshore gas projects in Tanzania. As Tanzania positions itself to benefit from gas discoveries by increasing its domestic gas use, the brief outlines some of the trade-offs and considerations for negotiating the domestic gas allocation.
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 advises governments and civil society organizations on various issues relating to the legal frameworks that govern extractive industries.
CCSI supported local organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to carry out human rights impact assessments, as well as developing two economic models for the Sicomines mine in the DRC to compare the financial flows under the resource for infrastructure deal with a ‘traditional’ contract under the mining code of the DRC.
CCSI submitted an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Colombia concerning a company challenge of a municipal-wide referendum (the Consulta Popular) concerning whether or not the extraction of hydrocarbons should be permitted in the municipality of Cumaral. CCSI’s brief focused on the international human rights law dimensions of the case, including the human rights of all people to information and public participation.
CCSI advises governments and civil society organizations on various issues relating to fiscal frameworks for the extractive industries sector.
CCSI is exploring how equity can be taken into account when thinking through the issue of stranding assets.
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.
CCSI is examining local content provisions contained in legal frameworks governing resource investments, including in contracts, legislation and bidding practices.
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.
In 2017 CCSI integrated climate change as one of the core modules in its executive training on extractive industries and sustainable development. The training session provides an introductory overview of climate change impacts, and the Paris Agreement. It gives an overview of various policy developments that have driven and will continue to drive the energy transition, as well as how the private sector is responding.
CCSI was contracted to write the extractive industries section of the World Bank Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) for Tanzania. The study identifies the internal and external trade constraints that hinder the development of the priority sectors, and provides policy recommendations on how these obstacles can be overcome.
In December 2013, a diverse group of 14 experts from Africa, Asia, North America, South America, and Europe worked together for five days to produce a user-friendly guide in English and in French on “Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them.” The guide was produced to help policy makers, civil society, citizens, and the media understand the often complex and opaque terms of mining contracts.
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.
CCSI has partnered with the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) and Tanzania’s UONGOZI Institute to develop a capacity-development program for Tanzania’s Oil & Gas Negotiation Team
CCSI is a knowledge partner to the New Petroleum Producers Discussion Group project, co-organized and sponsored by Chatham House, NRGI, the Africa Governance Initiative and the Commonwealth Secretariat. This project aims to help emerging oil and gas producers to think critically about the various policy options available during the first steps of exploration and development, or when restructuring their petroleum sector.
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.
Since the 1990s, international investment law has been rapidly evolving, resulting in a complex web of over 3,000 investment treaties. These treaties have been used to challenge a wide range of host state actions and inactions that have allegedly negatively affected foreign investors or investments. Those challenges, in turn, expose host states to potentially significant financial costs, and can restrict the ability of such states to maximize the benefits, and limit the environmental and social harms, that can result from the exploitation of natural resources.
Thanks to a grant from the Australian Government, CCSI has developed an economically, legally and operationally rational framework to enable shared use of mining-related infrastructure, including rail, ports, power, water, internet and telecommunications.
Since 2006, CCSI has hosted an annual Columbia International Investment Conference. These annual conferences bring together numerous stakeholders including high-level government officials, corporate executives, investors, academics, and civil society for forward-looking policy discussions of critical issues in international investment for sustainable development. A list of the past Conferences, with links to the programs and materials,… read more
Support for Host Country Governments in the Planning, Preparation for, Negotiation, Implementation, and Monitoring of Large-Scale Investments
CCSI created a Negotiation Support Portal designed to improve the accessibility of technical assistance and of useful tools and resources to assist host governments planning, preparing for, negotiating, monitoring, and implementing large-scale investments in the extractive industries, land and agriculture, and infrastructure sectors, and to facilitate coordination among support providers and host governments.
The course covers the inter-related challenges of governance, infrastructure, economic diversification, environmental management, and economic development.
This advisory project, undertaken for the Government of Paraguay, explored the potential for creating a climate risk management system, and developing sustainable agricultural activities, to mitigate environmental vulnerability; and developed a high-level strategic plan around using Paraguay’s vast hydropower resources for sustainable economic development, and the diversification of its economy.
CCSI regularly hosts speakers, roundtables, workshops, and events on a variety of related topics.
CCSI produces a number of policy briefs, guides and other publications that are useful resources on topics of extractive industries, land and agriculture, and investment law and policy.
CCSI supported the drafting and adoption of the 20 year Strategic Development Plan (SDP) for Timor-Leste, and helped to develop new institutions and laws to optimize the use of the country’s petroleum fund for development.
CCSI is collaborating with the Earth Institute and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Centers in West and East Africa to adapt the broad precepts of the Millennium Villages Project to the specific conditions of mining sites.
Comparing Company Profits and Government Revenues from Extractives During the ‘Commodity Super Cycle’
This research project aims to assess whether it is reasonable for governments to demand a larger share of the pie by comparing company profits to government revenues during the boom years.
This research assesses whether political risk indicators are a good measure to predict fiscal regime changes, with the ultimate aim to create a framework which investors and governments can use to negotiate the length of future stabilization clauses.
The aims of this research are to propose how and when strategic environmental assessments can be integrated into planning processes in the pre-contracting phase and to support governments at the ministerial level in their implementation, looking at tools and institutional framework enabling participatory and cross-ministerial processes.
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.
This project examined the bargaining power of cross-border pipeline transit countries and the range of factors that influence it, including their position in the pipeline, their commercial interest in the project as well as their foreign policy strategy.
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.