Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: July 24th 2015

24 Jul 2015

Here you will find a round-up of all the latest news and events in market governance from around the world

Mining

  • The Philippine branch of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is holding a number of forums and workshops in cities throughout the country. The sessions are designed to give mining communities and local governments a better understanding of the EITI standards. It follows the first EITI country report, containing the financial disclosures of mining and oil and gas companies – including payments to government through taxes, royalties and environmental fees. 
  • A report detailing the traceability of 'conflict-free' minerals has been released by Pact – an international development NGO. The report analyses the implementation of the ITRI (Tin Industry organisation) Tin Supply Chain Initiative (iTSCi) in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The report finds that iTSCi – which aims to not only improve traceability, but also support for mining communities – has been successfully implemented at 1,300 mine sites which support at least 80,000 miners. 
  • A report by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) has analysed the design of certification systems aimed at improving production standards and encouraging responsible mining. It found that the majority were voluntary, use third-party assurance processes, and were most often directed at social aspects, followed by governance and environmental indicators. For more findings: see here.

Mine in the Philippines. Source: Wikipedia

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Findings from an analysis of the UN Global Compact have been released, along with a series of recommendations. In its 15th year, 25% of the world's largest companies have joined, operating in 156 countries. The report argues that businesses are increasingly working to embrace sustainability in a collaborative and integrated manner. It finds that some companies – still the minority – are working to be ahead of regulation. The report recommended that priorities for business should include pricing carbon, ending inefficient or unsustainable subsidies and a focus on gender equality.
  • The Ethical Trading Initiative is running workshops in China on 'Business ethics awareness: Introduction to ethical trade'. Targeted at China-based suppliers, the workshops are designed for senior factory management who want to learn more about the ETI standards and business ethics. See here for more info.

Forest in Panama. Source: Wikipedia

Climate finance

  • The Clean Development Mechanism is under scrutiny for a hydro-electric project registered under its auspices in Panama. The dam in Panama is predicted to generate 28.5 megawatts of clean energy per year, and is funded by German and Dutch development banks. However, according to local and German NGOs, local indigenous groups have not been properly consulted. To read more about the project, see here. 
  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has come under fire from two major NGOs for the manner in which the GCF board has approved entities as accredited to disperse funds. The criticism came from Karen Orenstein from Friends of the Earth USA, and Brandon Wu from ActionAid USA – one of two civil society representatives on the GCF board. They argued that the decisions were largely based on the self-reporting of institutions with no critical reflection of their track record. For example, Deutsche Bank was accredited – a large-scale financier of coal which has incurred fines this year for tax evasion and its role in the Libor market manipulation scandal. For more of the critique- read here. 

Fisheries

  • The Pacific Seafood Processors Association has begun the process of becoming the second organisation with MSC salmon certification. The process of MSC certification would take up to six to ten months, so if successful the PSPA could have certification in time for the 2016 catch.