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Leveraging Paraguay’S Hydropower For Sustainable Economic Development, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling Nov 2013

Leveraging Paraguay’S Hydropower For Sustainable Economic Development, Perrine Toledano, Nicolas Maennling

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

While internationally Paraguay is known for being the largest hydropower exporter in the world, the domestic economy suffers from regular outages and high system losses. The country is largely dependent on agricultural production, which has led to volatile economic performances in the past resulting from climatic circumstances and commodity price fluctuations. To address these two key policy challenges, the Government of Paraguay has approached The Earth Institute to: 1) explore the potential of a climate risk management system and sustainable agriculture activities to mitigate environmental vulnerability and 2) develop a high-level strategic plan to use Paraguay’s vast hydropower resources ...


Memo To The Obama Administration On The Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lisa E. Sachs Sep 2013

Memo To The Obama Administration On The Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In September 2013, CCSI sent a memo to President Obama and his Administration in response to the first public reports submitted by U.S. companies in compliance with the Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements. The memo applauded the U.S. Government’s efforts to encourage responsible investment in Burma, noting that robust due diligence is essential to ensuring that international investments contribute to sustainable development. Yet the memo also urged the Obama Administration to take steps to strengthen future reporting. In particular, CCSI urged the Administration to issue clarifying guidance that any U.S. investor submitting a report should (1 ...


Community Development Funds And Agreements In Guinea Under The New Mining Code, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jun 2013

Community Development Funds And Agreements In Guinea Under The New Mining Code, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Guinea’s 2011 Mining Code introduced a large number of reforms directed to increasing transparency and the contribution of the mining sector to development, including requirements for the establishment of a local development fund and for community development agreements between mining companies and local communities. As part of the legal and fiscal analysis of the gold mining investments in Guinea, CCSI examined how these provisions could be implemented effectively. CCSI produced a report that makes recommendations as to how the Government, mining companies, civil society and communities can work together to maximize the benefits of local development funding in the ...


Great Debate: Mining In Latin America, Lisa E. Sachs Apr 2013

Great Debate: Mining In Latin America, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Mining represents a great opportunity for economic growth, especially for emerging economies. It is often seen as the path to prosperity. However, the mining industry is a double edged sword. Countries in Latin America are managing to attract significant foreign investment. In Chile, the extractive sector’s participation in the economy has tripled in the last 10 years, reaching 15% of GDP. In Colombia and Peru, it has doubled to 10% of GDP. The Santos administration in Colombia has made mining one of its top policy priorities.

However, there may be significant downsides to mining, as governments are forced to ...


Getting Ahead Of The Curve: Supporting Adaptation To Long-Term Climate Change And Short-Term Climate Variability Alike, Alexis Saba, Michela Biasutti, Michael B. Gerrard, David B. Lobell Jan 2013

Getting Ahead Of The Curve: Supporting Adaptation To Long-Term Climate Change And Short-Term Climate Variability Alike, Alexis Saba, Michela Biasutti, Michael B. Gerrard, David B. Lobell

Faculty Scholarship

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been meeting since 1995, and in recent years, it has increasingly focused on facilitating and funding climate change adaptation in developing countries. Other sources of financing, from multilateral development banks to bilateral and multilateral agreements among countries, are also providing resources for adaptation. Simultaneously, climate scientists around the world are updating their forecasts on the nature of future climate change. This article seeks to examine the scope of funding available for climate change adaptation and how climate change forecasts are used to plan for and evaluate climate change adaptation. We ...


Contested Shore: Property Rights In Reclaimed Land And The Battle For Streeterville, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2013

Contested Shore: Property Rights In Reclaimed Land And The Battle For Streeterville, Joseph D. Kearney, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Land reclaimed from navigable waters is a resource uniquely susceptible to conflict. The multiple reasons for this include traditional hostility to interference with navigable waterways and the weakness of rights in submerged land. In Illinois, title to land reclaimed from Lake Michigan was further clouded by a shift in judicial understanding in the late nineteenth century about who owned the submerged land, starting with an assumption of private ownership but eventually embracing state ownership. The potential for such legal uncertainty to produce conflict is vividly illustrated by the history of the area of Chicago known as Streeterville, the area of ...


Meas In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2013

Meas In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

This study contributes to the debate concerning the appropriate role of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in WTO law, and in particular, in WTO dispute settlement. The distinguishing feature of the study is that it seeks to address the relationship between MEAs and WTO law in light of the reason why the parties have chosen to separate their obligations into two bodies of law without providing an explicit nexus between them. The basic conclusion is that legislators’ silence concerning this relationship should speak volumes to WTO adjudicating bodies: MEAs should not be automatically understood as imposing legally binding obligations on WTO ...


Multilateral Environmental Agreements In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2013

Multilateral Environmental Agreements In The Wto: Silence Speaks Volumes, Henrik Horn, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

This study contributes to the debate concerning the appropriate role of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in in WTO dispute settlement. Its distinguishing feature is that it seeks to address this relationship in light of the reason why the parties have chosen to separate their obligations into two bodies of law without providing an explicit nexus between them. The basic conclusion is that legislators’ silence concerning this relationship should speak volumes to WTO adjudicating bodies: MEAs should not be automatically understood as imposing legally binding obligations on WTO Members, but could be used as sources of factual information.


The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer Jan 2013

The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The United States has surpassed Russia as the world's top natural gas producer, and according to the world's most respected energy forecaster, the U.S. will also overtake Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer by 2020. This surge in U.S. oil and gas production would have seemed wildly improbable a decade ago. It flows from a revolution in U.S. oil and gas production. Energy companies have learned to tap previously inaccessible oil and gas in shale and other impermeable (or "tight") rock formations. To do so, they use "hydraulic fracturing" ("fracturing" or "fracking"), pumping fluid ...


The Opportunities For And Hurdles To Combined Heat And Power In New York City, Alexis Saba, Bianca Howard, Michael Gerrard, Vijay Modi Jan 2013

The Opportunities For And Hurdles To Combined Heat And Power In New York City, Alexis Saba, Bianca Howard, Michael Gerrard, Vijay Modi

Faculty Scholarship

This paper first seeks to quantify the potential for CHP development in New York City and describe the primary hurdles to optimal deployment in Parts I and II. Part III provides policy solutions for overcoming these hurdles and recommendations for how stakeholders can use information and analysis to maximize the opportunities for CHP.


The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer Jan 2013

The Shale Oil And Gas Revolution, Hydraulic Fracturing, And Water Contamination: A Regulatory Strategy, Thomas W. Merrill, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is expected to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia, and the world’s top natural gas producer by 2015, surpassing Russia. In the past decade, energy companies have learned to tap previously inaccessible oil and gas in shale with “hydraulic fracturing” (“fracturing” or “fracking”), pumping fluid at high pressure to crack the shale and release gas and oil trapped inside. This “shale revolution” has created millions of jobs, enhanced our energy independence, and reduced U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by substituting natural gas for coal.

Even so, fracturing is controversial. It ...


Regulating Imports Into Rggi: Toward A Legal, Workable Solution, Shelley Welton, Michael Gerrard, Jason Munster Jan 2013

Regulating Imports Into Rggi: Toward A Legal, Workable Solution, Shelley Welton, Michael Gerrard, Jason Munster

Faculty Scholarship

This white paper evaluates the legal workability and constitutionality of what is frequently considered the most feasible mechanism for RGGI to use in regulating imports: an obligation on RGGI “load serving entities” (LSEs) – those companies responsible for supplying electricity to end-use customers – to purchase allowances to account for the emissions associated with the electricity they sell that is imported. Ultimately, although there are many design complexities yet to be worked out, we find that an LSE-centered approach could present a viable pathway forward for RGGI states’ regulation of imports. It is likely to create long-term price signals about the value ...


Courts Uniformly Support Climate Science And Scientists, Michael Gerrard Jan 2013

Courts Uniformly Support Climate Science And Scientists, Michael Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

Viewers of certain television networks, readers of certain newspapers, and anyone visiting Capitol Hill would come away with the impression that there are serious questions about whether climate change is occurring and, if it is, whether it is mostly caused by human activity. One place where there are few such questions is the courts. In fact it appears that (with one lone exception in a dissent) not a single U.S. judge has expressed any skepticism, in a written opinion or dissent, about the science underlying the concern over climate change. To the contrary, the courts have uniformly upheld this ...


An Introduction To Climate Change Liability Litigation And A View To The Future, Michael B. Gerrard, Joseph A. Macdougald Jan 2013

An Introduction To Climate Change Liability Litigation And A View To The Future, Michael B. Gerrard, Joseph A. Macdougald

Faculty Scholarship

This article discusses the advancement of climate change litigation. It explores two approaches to climate change litigation; the first is to use the federal regulatory apparatus and the second is to use the tort system. The article explores key questions in climate change litigation such as, who is responsible for deciding the appropriate level of harmful emissions? How should courts handle the long tail effects of climate change? What are the proper forums to litigate in? And, what is the role of the federal government in climate change litigation?


Shared-Use Infrastructure: A Prickly Partnership Takes Root, Perrine Toledano Jan 2013

Shared-Use Infrastructure: A Prickly Partnership Takes Root, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Only about 30% of Africa has access to electricity, and transport costs in Africa are among the highest in the world. For the World Bank, the annual funding gap for infrastructure investment in Africa is US $31 billion.

This gap however can be filled if the investments of natural resource concessionaires are leveraged and not planned in an enclave model. In resource-rich but infrastructure-poor Africa, natural resource concessionaires have traditionally developed railways, ports and power plants to serve their own needs. Africa has therefore often missed the opportunity of coordinating those large investments with national infrastructure planning and has failed ...


Ask The Experts: Mining, Lisa E. Sachs Jan 2013

Ask The Experts: Mining, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

How can governments best ensure mining produces broad-based economic development?

At the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment at Columbia University, we have identified five “pillars” that are necessary for resource-based sustainable development. Each pillar requires the collaboration of governments, companies, donors and communities.At the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment at Columbia University, we have identified five “pillars” that are necessary for resource-based sustainable development. Each pillar requires the collaboration of governments, companies, donors and communities.