Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: May 29th 2015

29 May 2015

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

Agriculture

  • 40% of the UK's imports come from areas of high water risk according to a new WWF report. The study examined 23 certification schemes in agriculture, such as Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance, Bonsucro and the Better Cotton Initiative and concluded that even certified operations remain at water risk; including of water scarcity and potential pollution.
  • The Indian tea industry’s certification processes are to be strengthened. Intertek, a global certification and safety inspection organisation, is the new auditor for Trustea certification in the country. Intertek will provide comprehensive evaluation of the social, economic, agronomic and environmental performance of Indian tea estates, smallholders and factories according to Trustea standards.  

Tea plantation in India. Source: Wikipedia

Extractive industries

  • A number of civil society organisations are arguing that the Ghanaian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) bill should include clauses requiring restoration of the natural environment following extractive projects. The organisations included the Third World Network, ISODEC, German International Cooperation (GIZ), the Natural Resource Governance Institute and Oil Watch Ghana. They also called for an independent arbiter over the EITI process in Ghana.
  • Nigeria's status as an EITI compliant nation is to be reviewed in January 2016. At a review meeting, the executive secretary of the Nigerian EITI branch Zainab Ahmed spoke of the key questions facing the industry. She said: “the major challenge we have in Nigeria in implementing the EITI is our inability to open up the licencing registers of the oil and gas companies, our inability to put in the public domain operating contracts for the oil and gas sector”.

Fisheries

  • Filipino fishers who use traditional handlines rather than large trawler nets and are therefore able to catch larger and higher quality fish are being supported through a partnership with WWF. Through the scheme the fishers in the Mamburao municipality are getting a better price for their higher quality fish, and are aiming to receive Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification by 2016. Read more here.
  • Meanwhile, as part of the implementation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), European fishing industry representatives will discuss the promotion of sustainable fishing in African waters. With a quarter of the fish by European boats caught outside European waters including Africa, there is an impetus to lift standards in these waters whilst supporting local fisheries.

Fishing boats in Senegal. Source: Wikipedia

Climate finance

  • The Bank of America recently released details of a green bond it has issued worth US$600 million. The bond will go to financing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and follows on from its first green bond issued in November 2013 which went to similar projects.
  • With business leaders joining French President Hollande in calling for a global carbon price, the World Resources Institute have focused attention on the elements needed for pricing to get higher up the US Government’s agenda. This includes the implementation of a range of economy-wide climate policies, and further learning from state-based schemes such as the Californian scheme or the British Columbia program in Canada. For more info, read here.
  • One business leader joining President Hollande for the recent Paris climate and business conference was Tony Hayward of Glencore Xstrata, the world’s largest commodity trader. He argued that the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies should be a precondition for the implementation of a carbon price.