Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Columbia Law School

Environmental Law

Law

2016

Articles 1 - 22 of 22

Full-Text Articles in Law

Beyond Trade Deals: Charting A Post-Brexit Course For Uk Investment Treaties, Lise Johnson, Lorenzo Cotula Dec 2016

Beyond Trade Deals: Charting A Post-Brexit Course For Uk Investment Treaties, Lise Johnson, Lorenzo Cotula

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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 International Institute for Environment and Development, and Lise Johnson of CCSI highlights, the stakes are high: ill-designed treaties could leave the UK excessively exposed to legal claims by foreign companies and could fail to address relevant economic, social and environmental challenges. While ...


Submission To Opic On Revisions To Its Environmental And Social Policy Statement, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2016

Submission To Opic On Revisions To Its Environmental And Social Policy Statement, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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 project abandonment or failure. The submission urged OPIC to add into the ESPS a requirement that Applicants involved in natural resource or infrastructure projects commit to publicly disclosing any investor-state contracts related to the underlying Project. CCSI’s submission also suggested that OPIC incorporate ...


International Investment Agreements: Impacts On Climate Change Policies In India, China And Beyond, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven Nov 2016

International Investment Agreements: Impacts On Climate Change Policies In India, China And Beyond, Lise Johnson, Brooke Güven

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Mitigating and adapting to climate change will require a fundamental reorientation of our global economy as we move away from fossil fuels and transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient world. This reorientation depends on government actions to help catalyze and channel financial flows in new directions and away from business-as-usual practices.

International investment agreements (IIAs) – treaties that now number over 3,000 and have the objective of promoting and protecting cross-border investment flows_could potentially play a key role in these efforts to scale up and (re)direct investments to meet climate change mitigation and adaptation needs. As presently drafted ...


Outcome Report Of Workshop On International Investment And The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Jesse Coleman Nov 2016

Outcome Report Of Workshop On International Investment And The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Jesse Coleman

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On May 12, 2016, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment hosted a one-day workshop on international investment and the rights of indigenous peoples. This outcome document synthesizes the discussions that took place during the May 12 workshop.

The workshop was part of a series of consultations undertaken to support the Special Rapporteur's Second Thematic Analysis on the Impact of International Investment Agreements on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Held at the Ford Foundation in New York, the workshop brought together 53 academics, practitioners, indigenous ...


Conference Report: Climate Change And Sustainable Investment In Natural Resources: From Consensus To Action, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Sabin Center For Climate Change Law Nov 2016

Conference Report: Climate Change And Sustainable Investment In Natural Resources: From Consensus To Action, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Sabin Center For Climate Change Law

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment has produced this conference report on CCSI’s Conference on Climate Change and Sustainable Investment in Natural Resources: From Consensus to Action. A shorter outcome document, which was disseminated at COP22, is also available. These documents summarize the discussions at the eleventh annual Columbia International Investment Conference, which took place on November 2-3, 2016, at Columbia University. The Conference offered a high-level opportunity to discuss how countries can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, while also advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the important implications for the ...


Mining A Mirage: Reassessing The Shared-Value Paradigm In Light Of The Technological Advances In The Mining Sector, Aaron Cosbey, Howard Mann, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Jeff Geipel, Martin Dietrich Brauch Sep 2016

Mining A Mirage: Reassessing The Shared-Value Paradigm In Light Of The Technological Advances In The Mining Sector, Aaron Cosbey, Howard Mann, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Jeff Geipel, Martin Dietrich Brauch

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

While there has been a strong tendency in resource rich countries to push for more stringent local content regulations, the mining sector is looking to move towards increased automation.

In this study titled "Mining a Mirage: Reassessing the Shared-Value Paradigm in Light of the Technological Advances in the Mining Sector," CCSI, IISD and Engineers Without Borders researched the technological innovations that are being developed, assessing when these technologies could be rolled out, and quantifying the potential impacts automation may have on local employment and procurement and on the shared value paradigm. The objective was to better understand how governments could ...


Submission To The Sec On Addressing Land Tenure Risks Through Regulation S-K, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Jul 2016

Submission To The Sec On Addressing Land Tenure Risks Through Regulation S-K, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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 disclosure of public policy and sustainability information. CCSI argued that, due to the significant financial risk created by land tenure disputes in countries with weak or transitioning land governance systems, companies should be required to report on land tenure risks. Disclosure should be required for ...


Employment From Mining And Agricultural Investments: How Much Myth, How Much Reality?, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano Jul 2016

Employment From Mining And Agricultural Investments: How Much Myth, How Much Reality?, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Olle Östensson, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Employment creation is often seen as a key benefit of investment in natural resources. However, this benefit sometimes falls short: job estimates may be inflated, governmental policies may fail to maximize employment generation, and, in some cases, investments may lead to net livelihood losses. A more thorough examination of employment tied to mining and agricultural investments is thus useful for assessing whether and how employment from natural resource investments contributes to sustainable economic development – a particularly timely topic as countries consider how they will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.

This report aims to clarify the processes and ...


Transcanada Lawsuit Highlights Need To Scuttle Tpp, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Brooke Güven, Lisa E. Sachs Jul 2016

Transcanada Lawsuit Highlights Need To Scuttle Tpp, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Brooke Güven, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The Obama administration is still trying, against the odds, to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment agreement (TPP) through the lame-duck session of Congress after the November presidential vote. The administration knows that TPP can’t pass before the election because both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump oppose it; therefore, they are hoping for a stealth Senate vote between the election and inauguration of the new president in 2017.We can therefore “thank” TransCanada for reminding us why the TPP needs to be scuttled.


Space For Local Content Policies And Strategies, Lise Johnson Jul 2016

Space For Local Content Policies And Strategies, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper explores both the role that local content measures can play in advancing sustainable development, and the impact that trade and investment treaties concluded over the past 20 years have had and will continue to have on the ability of governments to employ those tools. Certain local content measures had been restricted under the WTO due to wide agreement by negotiating parties that their costs outweigh their benefits. But the WTO also left a number of local content measures in governments’ policy toolboxes. As is discussed in this paper, however, that is changing, with the range of permissible actions ...


A Policy Framework To Approach The Use Of Associated Petroleum Gas, Shay Banerjee, Perrine Toledano Jul 2016

A Policy Framework To Approach The Use Of Associated Petroleum Gas, Shay Banerjee, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI developed "A Policy Framework to Approach the Use of Associated Petroleum Gas."

Associated Petroleum Gas (APG) is a form of natural gas that is found associated with petroleum fields. APG is often flared or vented for regulatory, economic or technical reasons. The flaring, however, is problematic from health and environmental perspectives. Moreover, flaring and venting APG wastes a valuable non-renewable resource that could be re-injected into the oil field or used for local and regional electricity generation.

This framework aims at providing guidance for regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders seeking to develop practical approaches to unlock the economic value ...


Resourcecontracts.Org – A Searchable Repository For Publicly Available Mining And Petroleum Contracts, Sophie Thomashausen Apr 2016

Resourcecontracts.Org – A Searchable Repository For Publicly Available Mining And Petroleum Contracts, Sophie Thomashausen

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

ResourceContracts.org is an online, searchable and user-friendly repository of publicly available mining and petroleum contracts from around the world. It currently includes over 1,000 from 72 countries. In addition to PDF scans of each executed contract, the site includes: the full text of contracts in searchable format; plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human rights, fiscal, and operational terms; and tools for searching and comparing contracts. Users can search contracts by country, natural resource, year, by type of contract, company, corporate group, or by annotation category.


Land Deal Dilemmas: Grievances, Human Rights, And Investor Protections, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2016

Land Deal Dilemmas: Grievances, Human Rights, And Investor Protections, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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 report, funded by UK aid from the Department for International Development, focuses on practical solutions for governments confronting grievances that arise from large-scale investments in agricultural or forestry projects.

The report considers such solutions in the context of governments’ legal obligations, particularly those imposed by international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts. Understanding the implications of this diverse range of legal obligations is particularly important in ...


Recommending Transparency In Land-Based Investment: A Summary Of Relevant Guidelines And Principles, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2016

Recommending Transparency In Land-Based Investment: A Summary Of Relevant Guidelines And Principles, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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, assist stakeholders in addressing the issue of transparency, and provide an informed starting point for further analysis.


Emerging Practices In Community Development Agreements, Jennifer Loutit, Jacqueline Mandelbaum, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2016

Emerging Practices In Community Development Agreements, Jennifer Loutit, Jacqueline Mandelbaum, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Community Development Agreements (CDAs) have the potential to facilitate the delivery of tangible benefits from large-scale investment projects, such as mines or forestry concessions, to affected persons and communities. To be effective, however, CDAs must be adapted to the local context, meaning that no single model agreement or process will be appropriate in every situation. Nonetheless, leading practices are emerging which can be required by governments, voluntarily adopted by companies, and demanded by communities. These practices are grounded in ensuring that all parties are sufficiently informed, capacitated, and prepared to engage in meaningful negotiations regarding how the investor’s operations ...


Corporate Agricultural Investment And The Right To Food: Addressing Disparate Protections And Promoting Rights-Consistent Outcomes, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Anna Bulman Mar 2016

Corporate Agricultural Investment And The Right To Food: Addressing Disparate Protections And Promoting Rights-Consistent Outcomes, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Anna Bulman

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Over the past decade, the world has witnessed heightened corporate interest in large-scale land-based agricultural investment. While such investments can potentially have positive effects for local communities, they also can have wide-ranging negative impacts on human rights, including through forced displacement and the loss of livelihoods. This Article examines the impact of large-scale corporate agricultural investment on the right to food, as well as on human rights more generally. It considers the protections offered by the investment and human rights legal regimes to both corporations and individuals, including recent international developments relating to transnational corporate accountability and efforts to integrate ...


Sustainable Development Goals: How Can The Mining Sector Contribute?, Lisa E. Sachs Mar 2016

Sustainable Development Goals: How Can The Mining Sector Contribute?, Lisa E. Sachs

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In September 2015, the heads of 193 United Nations (UN) Member States adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The agenda provides a successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000, with a view to ending poverty in all forms and dimensions, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all.


Land Deals And The Law: Grievances, Human Rights, And Investor Protections, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2016

Land Deals And The Law: Grievances, Human Rights, And Investor Protections, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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 investments in agricultural or forestry projects. It accompanies a more in depth report on similar issues, entitled "Land Deal Dilemmas: Grievances, Human rights, and Investor Protections."

The briefing note considers such solutions in the context of governments’ legal obligations, particularly those imposed by international investment ...


Transparency In Land-Based Investment: Key Questions And Next Steps, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Mar 2016

Transparency In Land-Based Investment: Key Questions And Next Steps, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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 real costs and benefits for investors, host countries, and their citizens.

Jointly authored by CCSI and the Open Contracting Partnership, this briefing note examines why contract disclosure and a contracting process that is open, accessible, and inclusive are important; what such transparency entails; and how ...


Emerging Practices In Community Development Agreements, Jennifer Loutit, Jacqueline Mandelbaum, Sam Szoke-Burke Feb 2016

Emerging Practices In Community Development Agreements, Jennifer Loutit, Jacqueline Mandelbaum, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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 countries CDAs are required by domestic legislation; in others, they are entered into voluntarily. The most effective CDAs are also adapted to the local context, meaning that no single model agreement or process will be appropriate in every situation. Nonetheless, leading practices are emerging which ...


International Investment Law And The Extractive Industries Sector, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman Jan 2016

International Investment Law And The Extractive Industries Sector, Lise Johnson, Jesse Coleman

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

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. This briefing note provides an introduction to international investment law, with a view to ...


Linkages To The Resource Sector: The Role Of Companies, Governments, And International Development Cooperation, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jan 2016

Linkages To The Resource Sector: The Role Of Companies, Governments, And International Development Cooperation, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

With support from GIZ, CCSI prepared a report titled "Linkages to the Resource Sector: The Role of Companies, Governments, and International Development Cooperation." It outlines options for how these stakeholders can increase the economic linkages to the extractive industries sector not only in terms of ‘breadth’ (number of linkages) but also in terms of ‘depth’ (local value added). Apart from providing the theoretical framework for linkage creation and an overview of existing literature on this topic, the study highlights successful case study examples. Recommendations are provided for the three types of stakeholders.