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2013

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Mining Contracts: How To Read And Understand Them, International Senior Lawyers Project, Openoil, Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Governance Institue, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment Dec 2013

Mining Contracts: How To Read And Understand Them, International Senior Lawyers Project, Openoil, Revenue Watch Institute-Natural Resource Governance Institue, Vale Columbia Center On Sustainable International Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Books

In December 2013, a diverse group of 14 experts from Africa, Asia, North and 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," to help policy makers, civil society, citizens, and the media understand the often complex and opaque terms of mining contracts. With increasing calls for contract transparency – and the growing recognition of the importance of the terms of contracts for resource-rich countries – this book explains in layman’s terms the principal features of a contract, compares different approaches to ...


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 ...


State Intervention And Private Enterprise: Japan, The U.S., And China, Center For Japanese Legal Studies Oct 2013

State Intervention And Private Enterprise: Japan, The U.S., And China, Center For Japanese Legal Studies

Center for Japanese Legal Studies

This conference addressed the topic of state intervention in private enterprise, comparing recent and historical trends in the United States, China, and Japan. Speakers and discussants addressed a broad range of topics relevant to the subject of intervention, from state-owned enterprises, to government buyouts of distressed firms, to regulation surrounding foreign direct investment. This event was co-hosted by the Center for Japanese Legal Studies (CJLS) at Columbia Law School, the Center on Japanese Economy and Business (CJEB) at Columbia Business School, and the Japan Economic Foundation (JEF).


Mobil V. Canada – Ratcheting Down The Scope Of Treaty Reservations, Lise Johnson Sep 2013

Mobil V. Canada – Ratcheting Down The Scope Of Treaty Reservations, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

As part of States’ efforts to strike a balance in their international investment agreements (IIAs) between the obligations they assume and the rights and policy space they wish to retain, some adjoin annexes to their treaties to protect their ability to take “Non-Conforming Measures” (NCMs). States have generally: used such annexes to make exceptions to non-discrimination obligations, market access restrictions and performance requirements; have included the ability to grandfather in NCMs existing at the time an IIA enters into force; and have provided for the ability to maintain, amend, and enact new NCMs in specifically identified sectors, sub-sectors, activities, or ...


Cameroon Pastoralists Fight For Their Way Of Life, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Sep 2013

Cameroon Pastoralists Fight For Their Way Of Life, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

After years of struggles against governments and private parties, the Mbororo-Fulani are gaining international attention. But is this too little too late?


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 ...


New Uncitral Arbitration Rules On Transparency: Application, Content And Next Steps, Lise Johnson Aug 2013

New Uncitral Arbitration Rules On Transparency: Application, Content And Next Steps, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This paper discusses the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration, which were adopted in August of 2013 and went into effect on April 1, 2014. It draws on negotiating history to elaborate on the content of and purpose of each of the Rules’ provisions, and identifies options for and barriers to applying these Rules in future arbitrations.


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 ...


Envisioning Resilient Electrical Infrastructure: A Policy Framework For Incorporating Future Climate Change Into Electricity Sector Planning, Sam C.A. Nierop Jan 2013

Envisioning Resilient Electrical Infrastructure: A Policy Framework For Incorporating Future Climate Change Into Electricity Sector Planning, Sam C.A. Nierop

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Climate change needs to be incorporated in future designs of the electricity sector. This paper argues for a policy framework in which utilities take the lead by performing an electrical climate change impact assessment that evaluates to what extent utilities’ electrical assets are vulnerable to future climate change. Based on this assessment, electrical climate change adaptation plans should be formulated by the utility in cooperation with utility regulators, municipalities and supralocal governments. A collaborative process is essential, because adaptation measures need to be tailored to the regional circumstances and many types of adaptation measures require governmental approval. In order for ...


"Green" Product Procurement Policy In The European Union: Treatment Of Lifecycle Carbon Analysis And Environmental Ppm Restrictions, Shawna Ganley Jan 2013

"Green" Product Procurement Policy In The European Union: Treatment Of Lifecycle Carbon Analysis And Environmental Ppm Restrictions, Shawna Ganley

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

With approximately 19% of the EU’s GDP going to government purchases, “green procurement” policies could potentially have a sizable impact on carbon emissions, and moreover could bolster the larger consumer market for sustainable goods. This white paper reviews current EC policy in this area, focusing particularly on the way in which the EC treats lifecycle analysis and non-product related “process and production methods” (PPMs), criteria that relate to the way in which the product was produced rather than to the physical properties of the final product. The paper also addresses some of the factors that may have stymied better ...


Technology Transfer And Dissemination Under The Unfccc: Achievements And New Perspectives, Stéphanie Chuffart Jan 2013

Technology Transfer And Dissemination Under The Unfccc: Achievements And New Perspectives, Stéphanie Chuffart

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Response to climate change will critically depend on the cost, performance, and availability of technologies that can lower emissions, mitigate, and adapt to climate change. Technological innovation can furthermore lower the cost of achieving environmental objectives. However, data from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice flag that although issues of technology transfer have been central to the UNFCCC since the negotiation of the Convention, there is still an urgent need for effective environmental technology diffusion. Building upon lessons learned from technology transfer activities under the Clean Development Mechanism and the ...


The (Re)Federalization Of Fracking Regulation, Michael Burger Jan 2013

The (Re)Federalization Of Fracking Regulation, Michael Burger

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

The purpose of this Article is to defend environmental law's federalism choices from the insinuation that they do not match fracking's environmental impacts and to demonstrate that fracking does indeed belong under the umbrella of federal law. The Article proceeds in four Parts. Part I establishes the federalism-choice analysis framework and applies it to both state and federal regulation of fracking. Part II buttresses the conclusion that federal regulation of potential impacts on underground drinking-water supplies is appropriate through a fresh and extensive examination of the statutory scheme and legislative history of SDWA. Part III offers further support ...


Fracking And Federalism Choice, Michael Burger Jan 2013

Fracking And Federalism Choice, Michael Burger

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

In response to David B. Spence's "Federalism, Regulatory Lags, and the Political Economy of Energy Production," I offer a set of constructive challenges to his article. In Part I, I argue that fracking’s federalism-choice question has already been answered, and that but for the outdated and underjustified exemptions mentioned above, fracking is already under the jurisdiction of federal regulators. In Part II, I conduct an alternative federalism-choice analysis that adds to Professor Spence’s analysis in three ways. First, I balance his analysis by examining rationales commonly used to justify decentralization, rather than federalization, of environmental law. Second ...


Environmental Law/Environmental Literature, Michael Burger Jan 2013

Environmental Law/Environmental Literature, Michael Burger

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

What, is truly "environmental" about environmental law? This Article is the first attempt to answer this question by integrating Law & Literature scholarship with the study of environmental law. I argue that competing narratives of nature and culture common to the American environmental imagination play a more significant role in environmental law and litigation than previously acknowledged. These competing narratives, communicated through a known set of environmental stories and tropes, are used by attorneys to establish, frame, narrate and argue their cases, and they are absorbed, reimagined, reframed and retold by judges in their written opinions, making environmental law a kind ...


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.


State Hazard Mitigation Plans And Climate Change: Rating The States, Matthew Babcock Jan 2013

State Hazard Mitigation Plans And Climate Change: Rating The States, Matthew Babcock

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Climate change is affecting and will continue to affect the frequency and severity of natural hazard events, a trend that is of increasing concern for emergency managers and hazard mitigation agencies across the United States. Proper response to these hazards will require preparation and planning. Unfortunately, states are not required to include analysis of climate change in their State Hazard Mitigation Plans, which leads to uneven treatment of the issue and missed opportunities for mitigation planning. This survey identifies those state plans that address climate change and climate-related issues in an accurate and helpful manner and those that do not ...


Discussion Of Climate Change-Related Water Impacts In Federal Environmental Impact Statements (Eiss), January-September 2012, Cathy Li Jan 2013

Discussion Of Climate Change-Related Water Impacts In Federal Environmental Impact Statements (Eiss), January-September 2012, Cathy Li

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Climate change and its predicted effect on precipitation, temperature, storm frequency and intensity, global sea levels, and numerous other factors will pose significant challenges for the maintenance and operations of built infrastructure. Climate change is predicted to exacerbate water-related issues, such as water supply shortages brought on by increasingly severe droughts and more frequent or intense flooding caused by extreme precipitation events. Executive Order 13514 and subsequent instructions from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) have directed federal agencies to prepare for and adapt to the changing environment in which they will have to operate. The National Environmental Policy Act ...


Carbon Capture And Storage Policy In China, Yan Gu Jan 2013

Carbon Capture And Storage Policy In China, Yan Gu

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This paper examines the current state of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage technology (CCUS) in China as well as the related climate change policy, laws, and initiatives that might be used to encourage the large-scale deployment of carbon sequestration in China. The paper is organized in six sections. Section I examines the overall status of CCUS development in China, including CCUS research activities and demonstration project deployment. Section II discusses the broader environment of national climate change policies issued by the State Council (namely the Central People’s Government) and how it accommodates CCUS development policy. Section III reviews China ...


Encouraging Energy Efficiency Through The Clean Air Act, Moneen Nasmith Jan 2013

Encouraging Energy Efficiency Through The Clean Air Act, Moneen Nasmith

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Energy efficiency measures provide tremendous opportunities for achieving effective and cost-friendly reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases. In the absence of more comprehensive legislative efforts, proponents of energy efficiency projects can look to existing environmental laws for tools to promote and encourage energy efficiency and conservation. One such law is the federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”), which empowers the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to use a variety of mechanisms to address air pollution and protect the public health. Although the statute and its accompanying regulations are complex, the CAA provides a number of important avenues for advocates ...


Managed Coastal Retreat: A Legal Handbook On Shifting Development Away From Vulnerable Areas, Anne Siders Jan 2013

Managed Coastal Retreat: A Legal Handbook On Shifting Development Away From Vulnerable Areas, Anne Siders

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Numerous legal tools already exist to assist federal, state, and local governments in conducting managed retreat away from the most vulnerable coasts. Scattered publications, toolkits, and websites describe a broad range of legal, policy, and regulatory tools. These tools have, with little fanfare, been used by communities around the United States to implement managed retreat. This Handbook collects examples, case studies, and lessons learned from some of these early innovators in the hope that their lessons can inform future efforts to limit the exposure of our communities to coastal threats. The key legal issues raised by these examples are also ...


Legal Issues In Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning For Energy And Air Quality, Shawna Ganley, Shelley Welton Jan 2013

Legal Issues In Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning For Energy And Air Quality, Shawna Ganley, Shelley Welton

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

In the face of persistent air quality problems, as well as emerging concerns such as greenhouse gases and state budgetary constraints, states are looking to new ways to maximize air quality while minimizing costs. The non-profit Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) assists states in air quality management, and has recently proposed a new methodology for states to use in order to take a proactive, forward-thinking approach to optimize air quality. RAP’s proposed Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning for Energy and Air Quality (IMPEAQ) fosters long-range planning, multi-pollutant analysis and cost optimization modeling to enable state air quality districts to achieve efficient gains ...


Nepa And Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions Of U.S. Coal Exports, Elizabeth Sheargold, Smita Walavalkar Jan 2013

Nepa And Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions Of U.S. Coal Exports, Elizabeth Sheargold, Smita Walavalkar

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

As U.S. coal exports increase and new infrastructure is proposed to improve access to markets in Asia, controversy has arisen regarding the scope of environmental review that should be carried out by government. In particular, there is significant disagreement as to whether the end-use of exported coal and the emissions generated by its combustion fall within the scope of environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This paper considers this issue, examining the requirements of NEPA and its implementing regulations, as well as current practice by Federal agencies.


Will Greenhouse Gas Rules Prohibit New Coal Power Plants?, Christine Fazio, Ethan Strell Jan 2013

Will Greenhouse Gas Rules Prohibit New Coal Power Plants?, Christine Fazio, Ethan Strell

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Our article on June 28, 2012, discussed a proposed rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would limit, for the first time, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new fossil fuel-fired power plants. The proposal’s standard was based on the emissions of new natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plants. In order to meet the standards, new coal-fired plants would need to employ costly and untested carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The proposal was criticized by supporters of the coal industry because the standard would essentially prevent any new coal-fired power plants from receiving Clean Air Act (CAA ...


Red China Going Green: The Emergence And Current Development Of Carbon Emissions Trading In The World's Largest Carbon Emitter, Xiaotang Wang Jan 2013

Red China Going Green: The Emergence And Current Development Of Carbon Emissions Trading In The World's Largest Carbon Emitter, Xiaotang Wang

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This paper focuses on one of China’s efforts to engage with climate change—the establishment and development of carbon emissions trading schemes (ETSs) in the country. Section II examines the shift from command and control approaches to market mechanisms in China’s climate policy over the past two decades, which primed the domestic scene for the emergence of carbon emissions trading. Section III studies the seven regional ETS pilots due to launch later this year, the success or failure of which will to a large extent determine the future of carbon markets in not only China, but most likely ...


Digest Of Hydraulic Fracturing Cases, Smita Walavalkar Jan 2013

Digest Of Hydraulic Fracturing Cases, Smita Walavalkar

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

As U.S. coal exports increase and new infrastructure is proposed to improve access to markets in Asia, controversy has arisen regarding the scope of environmental review that should be carried out by government. In particular, there is significant disagreement as to whether the end-use of exported coal and the emissions generated by its combustion fall within the scope of environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This paper considers this issue, examining the requirements of NEPA and its implementing regulations, as well as current practice by Federal agencies.


Federal Regulatory Barriers To Grid-Deployed Energy Storage, Andrew Meyer Jan 2013

Federal Regulatory Barriers To Grid-Deployed Energy Storage, Andrew Meyer

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Until recently, the most advanced form of grid-deployed energy storage involved pumping water up a hill. But “newer storage technologies like flywheels and chemical batteries have recently achieved technological maturity and are well into successful pilot stages and, in some cases, commercial operation”. If widely adopted these new energy storage technologies will fundamentally alter the operation of our electricity system


Recovering From The Recovery Narrative: On Glocalism, Green Jobs And Cyborg Civilization, Michael Burger Jan 2013

Recovering From The Recovery Narrative: On Glocalism, Green Jobs And Cyborg Civilization, Michael Burger

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

In this Essay, I make a preliminary foray into new narrative terrain, identifying several emerging legal storylines that have arisen in the wake of climate change disruptions and that I predict will prove influential in the coming years. In Part I, I discuss the ways in which new perceptions of scale are re-defining human beings' attachments to a sense of "place" or "dwelling" and are shaping new attitudes about what constitutes the local, posing potential problems for existing federalism schemes. In Part II, I discuss the ways in which America's long history of nationalizing nature manifests in the discourse ...


Compilation Of International Authorities Supporting Specific Measures To Combat Climate Change, Fiona Kinniburgh Jan 2013

Compilation Of International Authorities Supporting Specific Measures To Combat Climate Change, Fiona Kinniburgh

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

This document is a compilation of international authorities that endorse or require various specific measures to combat climate change. The document comprises a non-exhaustive compilation of extracts from various international agreements, environmental treaties and resolutions / declarations of international organizations, as well as reports from several respected international bodies. While the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and decisions of the Conference of the Parties contain the most authoritative and directly applicable obligations regarding climate change, other international conventions, declarations, agreements and charters also give legal support for some of these specific measures.