By Nick Magel
August 12, 2011
Last week the International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, updated its Sustainability Framework and the Performance Standards within that framework.
The IFC is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in the developing world. The Sustainability Framework sets forth a number of baseline performance standards that projects they fund (oil, gas, mining, etc) must adhere to in able to receive funding.
Now, these 8 standards leave a lot to be desired, they:
- are weak in environmental and biodiversity protection,
- lack comprehensive safeguards of human rights, and
- are written with an ambiguity that is often exploitable by companies looking to cut corners.
You can go to the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman website to see a long list of officially disputed IFC backed projects.
By Lauren Pagel
August 11, 2011
Frankly, it s better than we expected. Given the lack of community representation amongst the panel, we were concerned that the panel would ignore the obvious negative impacts of natural gas in favor of industry rhetoric.
Instead, the panel recognized the serious impacts that shale gas production has on water, air and public health.
We hope that this report is a wake up call to the Obama administration, and that they begin to pay attention to both the panel recommendations and the recent history of inadequate state attempts to regulate natural gas production. This report should serve as a blueprint for responsible oversight of shale gas drilling.
Three of the most important recommendations of the interim report:
By Nick Magel
August 9, 2011
Four new jewelry retailers have announced their decision to shun irresponsibly mined gold and seek cleaner sources of gold and precious metals.
Brilliance Jewelry, Since1910.com, Jon R. Fox Jewellers, and Do Amore Jewelery, joined the other 77 jewelry companies and retailers in signing the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules for responsible sourcing of precious metals.
The list of Golden Rules signatories now includes more than 80 jewelry retailers representing over $14 billion in annual US jewelry sales, or nearly a quarter of total sales.
"The world is a different place then it was when we were founded in 1910. It is the responsibility of all of us to see that it remains a clean and humane environment for future generations." -- Michael Gross, President of Since1910.com.
By Lauren Pagel
August 5, 2011
This week, Congress adjourned for their month long August recess without voting on the Interior and Environment appropriations bill that included dozens of anti-environmental amendments. These amendments threatened wild lands, clean air, clean water and public health. Many of you spoke out against this unprecedented assault, and for that I thank you.
Unfortunately, the fight is not over. When Congress returns in the fall, they will once again turn to the appropriations process and the anti-environmental riders that now seem to always go along with that process.
August 3, 2011
Although Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll has repeatedly promised that the company wouldn't go forward with the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay if local communities don't support the mine, the company is suing to prevent local Alaskans from voting on a ballot initiative in October about whether they want the mine. (See the ad from Alaska natives urging her to keep her promise.)
The ballot measure, if approved, would prevent the planning commission from issuing a development permit to any large resource extraction activity that would have a significant adverse impact on salmon-producing streams. Ironically, Cynthia Carroll has also promised that the mine wouldn't go forward if it would harm salmon.
The issue is of international significance. The massive mine is proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay in the Bristol Bay Fishery Reserve - home to the world's largest and most valuable wild salmon fishery, which produces roughly 50% of the world's commercial supply of wild salmon. A recent peer reviewed risk assessment found concluded that the risks to wild salmon populations from such mining are very high, and that it is cause for significant concern regarding the long- term abundance and sustainability of salmon in the region.