Markets working to support sustainable development

In the News: September 30th 2015

30 Sep 2015

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


  • Fairtrade International has announced that they are introducing a new standard for Fairtrade carbon credits. This new 'Fairtrade Climate Standard' would allow Fairtrade certified producers, farming and rural communities to participate in carbon trading markets – backed by Fairtrade pricing. For example, a coffee producer generating carbon credits by planting trees to combat deforestation would receive a Fairtrade minimum price and price premium. They will test the scheme through seven pilots across the world, across three types of project: forestry, renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

A coffee plantation. Source: Wikipedia


  • Populations of North Sea cod have improved enough for the Marine Stewardship Council to take the fish off its ‘avoid eating’ list. The next step could be for the cod to gain MSC certification for sale in UK markets, which has been given to some Cornish hake and Scottish haddock fisheries. 


  • A World Bank geological survey appears to show that Malawi has significant mineral deposits with potential for exploitation. Following the World Bank advice, the Malawian Government have applied to become a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, to ensure that any new mining industry is developed with maximum transparency on any incoming revenue that could aid the country's development.


  • China has made two significant climate announcements in recent days. It has committed to creating a country-wide cap and trade programme that will expand on seven province-based pilot schemes. It has also announced a pledge of USD$3.1 billion to the Green Climate Fund to assist developing countries to implement climate mitigation and adaptation in their countries. 
  • The Indian Environment Minister has taken aim at the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) programme, arguing that after some initial success, the CDM market for carbon credits has stalled. Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that leaders should incentivise green growth through other measures. He argued the CDM market was failing because the  low prices for credits did not sufficiently change the practices of high-polluting industries. 

A wind farm in China. Source: Wikipedia

Sustainable business

  • In response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), three major entities committed to sustainable business have unveiled a tool which provides guidance to companies on how to positively respond to the SDGs. The UN Global Compact, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Global Reporting Initiative have developed the SDG Compass. It provides best-practice advice to businesses on how to align their business to the SDGs. See more here.
  • On the sidelines of the SDG process in New York, the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange (UNSSE) initiative welcomed a new entrant – Sri Lanka’s stock exchange. The UN SSE scheme works to foster transparency across publicly-listed companies on sustainable development objectives and encourage long-term sustainable investment. It also aims to work together with investors, regulators and companies to promote sustainability initiatives.