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  • Author: Ryan Lasnick
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This report analyses the size, scale and persistence of national development banks and offers ten clear observations and conclusions of the role of NDBs for the achievement of sustainable development globally. The Executive Summary can be found here. This report analyzes NDBs top down and bottom up. Top down, it includes the most recent data on the number of NDBs along with their total assets and annual disbursements. Bottom up, we conduct systematic case studies of various development bank ecosystems, including those of India, Brazil, China, South Africa, Germany and the US, to begin analyzing their role in the national development bank economy.
  • Topic: Development, Sustainability, Banking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sam Szoke-Burke
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Transparency is often seen as a means of improving governance and accountability of investment, but its potential to do so is hindered by vague definitions and failures to focus on the needs of key local actors. In a new report focusing on agribusiness, forestry, and renewable energy projects (“land investments”), CCSI grounds transparency in the needs of project-affected communities and other local actors. Transparency efforts that seek to inform and empower communities can also help governments, companies, and other actors to more effectively manage operational risk linked to social conflict.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Governance, Transparency, Sustainability, Community
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sam Szoke-Burke, Samuel Nguiffo, Stella Tchoukep
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Despite a recent transparency law and participation in transparency initiatives, Cameroon’s investment environment remains plagued by poor transparency.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Environment, Law, Transparency, Land Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Perrine Toledano, Sophie Thomashusen
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: With the support of Oxfam, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment reviewed select provisions in the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 and corresponding policy statements from the Minerals Policy 2018 to provide recommendations for how to best align the anticipated new mining law with international best practice. The 2009 law was reviewed with a focus on the following topics: • Fiscal regime; • Climate change; • Access to and use of land; • Community consultations and participation; • Human rights; and • Community development agreements.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Mining, Land, Sustainability, Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Author: Perrine Toledano, Martin Dietrich Brauch, Solina Kennedy, Howard Mann
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: he green energy transition will be exceedingly mineral intensive. Manufacturing solar panels, wind turbine and batteries to power cleaner energies is set to significantly increase the demand for co-called “critical” minerals. Such a forecast prompts high expectations in mineral-rich countries and suggests promising opportunities for developing countries. However, the projects to increase the primary extraction of critical minerals rest on bullish forecasts and uncertain terrain due to a number of factors explored in the paper that threaten to leave these investments obsolete and economically stranded.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Green Technology, Sustainability, Transition
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicolas Maennling, Josefina Correa
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Strategic development planning has long been used by private and public sectors to guide actions that will lead to a determined goal in the medium- to long-term. The SDG framework has helped to create a common language of what development means, what the global objectives are by 2030, and how progress can be measured. With the world entering an era in which data is generated and used at an unprecedented scale, data and ICT systems should be used to better inform policy decision making and help evaluate progress to hold stakeholders accountable to their promises and performances. This report outlines how two mining projects in Chile are using planning and monitoring tools to advance development objectives beyond the mining-impacted areas. Several additional examples are showcased in the annex on how governments, companies, and civil society are using improved data accessibility and technological advances to help achieve and monitor their objectives.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Sustainable Development Goals, Mining
  • Political Geography: South America, Chile
  • Author: Perrine Toledano
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) persistent governance challenges have both hampered Nigeria’s oil sector development and deprived the country of public resources. The oil, climate, and COVID-19 crises and the ramp-up of the low-carbon transition exacerbate this reality, with the national oil company (NOC) delivering sub-optimal returns to its stakeholders. Other NOCs have taken meaningful steps to become players in the low-carbon energy transition domestically or in­ternationally—for example, Sau­di Arabia’s Saudi Aramco, Norway’s Equinor, Brazil’s Petrobras, Malaysia’s Petronas, and Algeria’s Sonatrach. These NOCs can serve as sources of inspiration for NNPC. These five NOCs have also undergone reforms of various aspects of their corporate governance. Even if not always sufficient, these reforms position them to be players of the energy transition. The current crisis provides a unique opportunity and political momentum for the Nigerian government and legislature to reconsider NNPC’s role in the context of the energy transition and implement profound reform of the company. While it is an incredible policy and political challenge, other NOCs are showing the way, and policy guidance is already out there to guide countries and companies.
  • Topic: Oil, Natural Resources, Gas, Green Technology, Carbon Emissions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Alexandra Sdoukou, Andrea Tornaritis, Perrine Toledano
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: This policy paper wishes to be a timely contribution towards a fruitful debate among stakeholders; it urges International Oil Companies (IOCs) to examine how the critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Greece can be integrated into their core business so that the oil and gas industry can contribute to the country’s sustainable growth.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Oil, Natural Resources, Gas, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Mediterranean
  • Author: Jesse Coleman, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: In its current form, the international investment treaty regime may stymie the business and human rights agenda in various ways. The regime may incentivize governments to favour the protection of investors over the protection of human rights. Investment treaty standards enforced through investor-state arbitration risk adversely affecting access to justice for project-affected rights holders. More broadly, the regime contributes to a system of global economic governance that elevates and rewards investors’ actions and expectations, irrespective of whether they have adhered to their responsibilities to respect human rights. Without comprehensive reform, investment treaties and investor-state arbitration will continue to interfere with realization of human rights and broader public interest objectives. This Chapter provides an overview of the interaction between human rights law and the investment treaty regime. It highlights the challenges that arise from tension between international human rights and investment norms, including the impact of the investment regime on the ability of host states to regulate and on access to justice for investment-affected rights holders. The chapter also explores whether and how human rights issues have been addressed by the investment regime to date, highlighting recent developments in treaty drafting practice and responses to human rights argumentation by investment tribunals. It notes the shortcomings of current approaches, and concludes by briefly setting out options for reform.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Treaties and Agreements, Reform, Investment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Without support, communities risk losing access to critical land and resources, suffering human rights violations, or missing opportunities to benefit from investments. A lack of community support can also lead to conflict and challenges that are damaging for companies and host governments. Donors and support providers have found ways to finance support for communities, but such efforts can only extend so far. Promising new opportunities exist for filling the financing gap, yet they will require sustained efforts by a range of actors. This report presents a call to action to help communities secure the support they so crucially need. The report explores options for tapping new funding sources for community support. These include: Government marshaling of funding from companies and others, through taxes, fees, and penalties Basket funds, operated by independent, trusted entities and funded by contributions from multiple actors Market-based impact investments and social impact bonds Direct company funding Third party funding Other solutions for increasing funding or reducing costs, including crowdfunding, generating profits from social enterprises, affordable user fees or in-kind services, contingency and uplift fees, and court-ordered fee shifting. The report also presents overarching considerations for developing a new financing initiative. These include: the initiative’s likely cost, efficiency and financial sustainability, political complexity and obstacles, political economy implications, the importance of strong governance mechanisms, and the logistics required to link funding, communities and support providers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Investment, Land
  • Political Geography: Global Focus