Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: September 24th 2015

24 Sep 2015

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

Fairtrade

  • The Fairtrade Foundation has criticised European Union reforms which will remove limits on European beet sugar production from 2017. The UK Department for International Development has commissioned research that argues the reforms could throw 200,000 people in the Pacific, Caribbean and African countries into poverty by 2020. One farming representative from Swaziland, Mr Dumisani Matsenjwa, Farmer and Secretary of Maphobeni Farmers Association said: “The EU encouraged us to grow sugar, now they have changed their minds and left us behind. I’ll have to start farming something else". 

Women farmers in Mozambique. Source: Wikipedia

Mining

  • The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative will play a key role at an upcoming meeting for the High-Level Dialogue on Harmonized Policies for Natural Resource Management in West Africa. A UN sponsored meeting, it will consider how to integrate the EITI Standards and principles into the mining regulations of West African countries. 
  • China has issued due diligence guidelines for its mining companies in a bid to encourage responsible supply chains. They outline that minerals sourced should not be implicated in human rights abuse, force labor, war crimes, support to armed groups, along with a range of other criteria. These broadly align with the OECD's due diligence framework. However, as RCS Global assert, the voluntary nature of the guidelines will means the process will require oversight from both Chinese authorities and downstream buyers. 
  • Have you ever thought of how your mobile phone was made? The supply chains behind phones are complex, and as Fairphone has shown, many of the minerals used may have been derived from conflict areas. Fairphone are partnering with mining communities in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo to deliver ethically sourced minerals such as tantalum, a key ingredient in mobile technology.

Solar panels in South Africa. Source: Wikipedia

Climate

  • Stakeholders can take part in a consultation on the eligibility criteria for geothermal energy projects for Climate Bonds Certification. Run by the Climate Bonds Initiative some of the criteria for discussion include whether the project is Clean Development Mechanism approved, whether fugitive emissions can be captured, and whether a GHG accounting methodology can prove its emissions reduction potential. For more info see here.
  • The World Bank has asserted that carbon-pricing mechanisms like carbon taxes and trading markets are set for rapid adoption in the near future. In the coming 18 months, carbon taxes will be introduced in Chile, South Africa and Portugal, taking up to 38 Federal or State jurisdictions using such mechanisms, constituting 12 percent of the world's GHG emissions. 

Fishing

  • Ikea has committed to offer only Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) seafood at its stores, in the largest ever pledge on certified seafood globally. With over 600 million customers, the offer brings certified seafood to 47 different markets including 8 markets for the very first time.