Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: June 8th 2015

08 Jun 2015

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

Mining

  • Clare Short, Chair of the EITI International Board, visited the Philippines this week to discuss how government legislation in combination with initiatives like the EITI could support natural resource governance. Speaking of mechanisms like the EITI, Short said "we need more involvement of parliamentarians in utilizing the data generated from the (EITI) reports and contextual information; and translate this information into government systems".
  • Canada has brought into force a new ' Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act'. It can be seen as part of a broader trend towards greater transparency and accountability represented by global standards such as EITI. The new act requires mandatory reporting by  extractive companies of all payments (in-kind or monetary) totalling $100,000 or more to any government in Canada, foreign states, quasi-governmental organisations or bodies established by two or more governments. Read about the full requirements here.
  • The Diamond Development Initiative, which aims to work with artisanal diamond miners and their communities to achieve safe practice and sustainable development, has launched a programme to support miners within Ebola-hit countries in Africa. The grant funding for the programme comes from the JCK Jewelry Industry fund and will also help to prepare for similar crises in the future.

Gold mine in Brazil. Source: Wikipedia

Sustainability reporting

  • The Global Reporting Initiative has released a new paper which highlighted the latest trends in sustainability and corporate reporting and disclosure. With new data technology available, reporting can now be done in real-time rather than annually. For more insights and a copy of the paper, see here.
  • Jennifer Anderson, CEO of corporate sustainability consultancy Sustrana, has written a guide on conducting a Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) supply chain audit. She emphasizes that understanding total greenhouse gas emissions in a supply chain provides an important guide to companies on the risks and opportunities related to climate change.

Carbon pricing

  • Six major European energy companies have asked the UN to help set up a 'widespread and effective' carbon pricing scheme. With many of these companies already moving away from coal, and focusing on less carbon intensive oil and gas, many commentators have argued that it is an attempt to seize the agenda ahead of the Paris Climate talks in December and avoid more wide reaching reforms.
  • Carbon pricing, like the EU emissions trading system, along with cheaper oil, have led to a plummeting of coal prices in Europe and China by more than a third. Analysts have predicted that it may serve as the beginning of the end for coal.

Salmon fishing in Alaska. Source: Wikipedia

Fishing

  • Ahead of World Ocean’s Day and to mark World Environment Day, the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) launched an inaugural sustainability report on the environmental and social performance of its 14 member companies. Piers Hart, Global Lead for Aquaculture at WWF said: “The launch of GSI’s Sustainability Report demonstrates the group’s leadership in creating greater transparency across the aquaculture sector. It is a remarkable achievement that they have developed this collective reporting platform, and we strongly encourage other production sectors and platforms to follow suit”.

Coffee

  • Tim Hunt of Ethical Consumer has completed a comprehensive review of the ethical coffee accreditation schemes, including Fairtrade, the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Direct Trade and Proudly Made in Africa. This follows from research showing that seven out of 13 brands of coffee bean are ethically certified. In comparing different standards, Hunt argues that while certification has almost become the norm, a number of the schemes like Fairtrade are having to roll out bigger and better processes of scrutiny, particularly in informal economy settings where minimum wages can be hard to police.