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Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Nov 2019

Outcome Report On The Climate Crisis, Global Land Use And Human Rights Conference, Mateusz Kasprowicz, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

On September 27th, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Landesa, the New York City Bar Association International Environmental Law Committee, and Wake Forest Law School hosted a day-long conference on the intersection between land use, the climate crisis and clean energy transition, and human rights.

Held at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, the conference brought together individuals from civil society organizations, governments, and academia, as well as lawyers, climate scientists, land-rights experts, indigenous representatives and other stakeholder groups. The panelists analyzed the critical role that land plays in …


Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine The Right To A Healthy Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill Nov 2019

Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine The Right To A Healthy Environment, Lisa E. Sachs, Lise Johnson, Ella Merrill

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Our planet faces unprecedented threats, including irreversible global warming, loss in biodiversity, and water pollution and water scarcity. The impacts of these environmental crises also threaten human rights and exacerbate inequality. Slowing these worsening environmental trends – and addressing the impacts of environmental change on populations – will require cumulative policy responses at the national and international level.


Singapore, Land Use And The Lessons For Human Development, Wellington Migliari Oct 2019

Singapore, Land Use And The Lessons For Human Development, Wellington Migliari

Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy

A study of the impact of using land use controls as a strategic tool to further human development among all social classes is presented. We advocate that human rights include a long-term practice of combining public policies, manufacturing industry, and property system. Further, this study strives to educate economists and those in other academic areas (e.g. humanities) on the importance of considering land use, ownership, and urban planning with economics to form a new theory of developmentalism. Singapore provides a case study demonstrating similar aspects that may shed light on that debate. The Housing & Development Board and the Urban …


The Human Right To A Healthy Environment: Pushing The Boundaries In The Inter-American System, Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak Oct 2019

The Human Right To A Healthy Environment: Pushing The Boundaries In The Inter-American System, Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak

Biennial Conference: The Social Practice of Human Rights

The connection between the environment and human rights is not a surprising one. The enjoyment of human rights depends on a person’s ability to live free from interference and to have his or her rights protected. The interdependence of human rights and the protection of the environment is manifested in the full and effective enjoyment of the rights to life, highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, adequate standard of living, adequate food, clean water and sanitation, housing, culture, freedom of expression and association, information and education, participation, effective remedies, and the rights of indigenous peoples. Without adequate access …


Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2019

Briefing For Civil Society Organizations – Understanding Commercial Eucalyptus Plantations: How Do They Work And What Are Their Environmental Impacts?, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

If a company wants to use a community’s land for eucalyptus plantations, the community should think carefully about whether this is a good idea. Civil society organizations that support communities can use this briefing to help communities understand the potential environmental impacts the community should be aware of. The briefing explains plantation forestry and the life-cycle of eucalyptus tree plantations. It also notes the different possible negative environmental impacts of eucalyptus plantations before exploring how this information can be factored into community decision-making about a proposed eucalyptus plantation. While the briefing focuses on eucalyptus plantations, a lot of it will …


Shareholder Activism And Stakeholder Engagement Strategies: Promoting Environmental Justice, Human Rights, And Sustainable Development Goals, Erika George Apr 2019

Shareholder Activism And Stakeholder Engagement Strategies: Promoting Environmental Justice, Human Rights, And Sustainable Development Goals, Erika George

Faculty Scholarship

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ambitious "plan of action for people, planet and prosperity" which seeks to promote peace and eradicate poverty. The Agenda's goals cannot be reached without private sector participation and changes to certain business practices that contribute to adverse environmental and human rights impacts. When natural resources are managed responsibly the resulting economic development can help to eradicate poverty. However, when natural resources are managed poorly, certain extractives industry sector practices can generate or exacerbate human rights abuses, environmental degradation, corruption, and conflict. Fossil fuels are connected to the changing climate. The …


Innovative Financing Solutions For Community Support In The Context Of Land Investments, Sam Szoke-Burke Mar 2019

Innovative Financing Solutions For Community Support In The Context Of Land Investments, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Without support, communities risk losing access to critical land and resources, suffering human rights violations, or missing opportunities to benefit from investments. A lack of community support can also lead to conflict and challenges that are damaging for companies and host governments.

Donors and support providers have found ways to finance support for communities, but such efforts can only extend so far. Promising new opportunities exist for filling the financing gap, yet they will require sustained efforts by a range of actors. …


Bridging The Information Gap: How Access To Land Contracts Can Serve Community Rights, Lara Wallis, Sam Szoke-Burke Jan 2019

Bridging The Information Gap: How Access To Land Contracts Can Serve Community Rights, Lara Wallis, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Land contracts (also known as investor-state contracts, or concession agreements) show what commitments a forestry, farming or renewable energy company has made and what the government has said the company can do on the land. These promises define the positive and harmful effects the company’s project could have on community members’ livelihoods and human rights, and on the environment.

Accessing land contracts is a crucial strategy for local organizations. This briefing note explains how local organizations can use land contracts and the Open Land Contracts repository (OpenLandContracts.org) to help communities to:

  • Understand company and government obligations related to a company …


Why Central Banks Need To Take Human Rights More Seriously, Daniel D. Bradlow Jan 2019

Why Central Banks Need To Take Human Rights More Seriously, Daniel D. Bradlow

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Most central bankers think that there is a tenuous connection between the operations of central banks and human rights. Their responsibility is to concentrate on the relatively narrow set of macro-economic variables that are relevant to their mandates and to leave to their country’s political leadership the decisions dealing with the complex and politically sensitive variables that affect the functioning of the economy and society.

This position is no longer tenable. Climate change is forcing the central banking community to rethink their view of their responsibilities. The recent release of the Network for Greening, the Financial System’s first comprehensive report …


Threats To The Brazilian Environment And Environmental Policy, Thomas J. Trebat, Laura Nora, Inga Caldwell Jan 2019

Threats To The Brazilian Environment And Environmental Policy, Thomas J. Trebat, Laura Nora, Inga Caldwell

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

The Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University and the Brazil-American Institute for Law and Environment at Pace University, organized a Workshop on November 13, 2019 in New York City. The Workshop was convened to discuss and raise awareness of the scope and severity of the environmental crisis in Brazil with a focus on the severe threats to the Amazon.

The consequences of the Bolsonaro government´s environmental actions are serious for Brazil and for the world. That is one of the reasons why the Columbia Global Center …


Corporations And Sustainability, Beate Sjåfjell, Christopher Bruner Jan 2019

Corporations And Sustainability, Beate Sjåfjell, Christopher Bruner

Scholarly Works

This chapter introduces the Handbook, providing an overview of its aims and structure, as well as the core research questions that the contributions to it collectively address. It discusses sustainability-related problems associated with the legal form of the corporation, and provides background on state-of-the-art research in natural sciences and other relevant fields that inform our understanding of sustainability. It concludes with specific research questions and a presentation of the Handbook’s structure.