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December 2018 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is pleased to update you on several events, recent publications and projects at the Center. Please check our website for more information about these and other activities.

Announcements Publications Upcoming Events Trainings Past Events
CCSI Launches New Interactive Website on Emerging Market Firms
For roughly the past decade, the Emerging Market Global Players (EMGP) Project has been researching the leading multinational enterprises from emerging economies, gathering data to provide a “real economy” picture of outward foreign direct investment (FDI) from these countries. Using the figures our EMGP Project partners have compiled on these leading firms, we launched a new interactive website on Friday. The website’s dashboard allows users to browse through the entire database — 500+ companies, from 15+ markets, with 10+ years of data and compare assets, degree of state ownership and other characteristics across countries, industries, and companies. You can also browse through all EMGP reports and catch up on the latest EMGP events. Make sure to visit the page:
Comments to the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects
CCSI, jointly with The Observatory for Sustainable Infrastructure, submitted comments to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Secretariat regarding updates to the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects. CCSI's comments focused on the need for an updated guide, which will now refer to Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), to holistically and systematically incorporate considerations of sustainable development; transparency, participation, accountability, and remedy; evidence-based assessments; human rights; sovereign debt and fiscal burden; and updates to norms on dispute resolution and the stabilization of laws, among other areas of interest.  
Call for Papers: Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy
CCSI is pleased to announce a call for papers for the 2018 edition of the Yearbook on International Investment Law and Policy, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). The Yearbook monitors current developments in international investment law and policy. Original contributions to be considered for publication in the Yearbook are accepted on a rolling basis until February 1, 2019; please send submissions to Lisa Sachs ( More information is available on our website.
Inconsistency’s Many Forms in Investor-State Dispute Settlement and Implications for Reform
UNCITRAL has a vital role to play in exploring problems with and potential reform of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), and in considering how to ensure its work better promotes, and does not undermine, rule of law, other domestic and international commitments and policies and the globally agreed Agenda 2030. As the process moves forward, it is essential for the work to take a broad approach to defining the problem of “inconsistency” and designing reform solutions. Our briefing note explores reform proposals, and whether anything short of a reversion to state-to-state dispute settlement will minimize the risk of inconsistency across law and policy spheres.  
Sustainable Investing: What’s On the Horizon
Sustainable investing, otherwise known as Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, has become a significant part of the investment management industry since 2006. The next era of ESG investing will witness an increase in the complexity and nuance of incorporating ESG factors into investment processes. This paper focuses on ten specific areas that we believe will be at the center of the next era of ESG investing. These topics focus on ESG considerations related to impact, climate modeling, public policy engagement, China, and wealth management, among others. ESG investing will require a major change in the orientation of the financial sector as a whole, including in the regulation and behavior of financial actors.
Local Content Policies and Downstream Linkages
There is a growing sense among ‘emerging’ natural resource-producing countries that raw materials should be processed domestically rather than exported in their unprocessed form. Downstream beneficiation is considered an opportunity to develop the domestic economy by creating jobs, enhancing skills and diversifying the economy — but are the intended economic and social goals achieved?

CCSI reviewed the case studies of AustraliaOmanSouth Africa,  Ukraine, the NetherlandsNigeria, and Singapore to assess the policy measures that have been used to attract investment in the steel and petroleum sectors. Drawing on this research and adding the case studies of Botswana and Indonesia, CCSI provided the Inter-Governmental Forum (IGF) with guidance on how to develop downstream policies.

The summary findings have been published as a
stand alone brief and feed into the IGF’s broader guidance on local content.
Investor-State Arbitration: An Opportunity for Real Reform?
In light of work on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) reform proceeding in UNCITRAL’s Working Group III, the authors of this blog, Brooke Guven and Lise Johnson of CCSI, and Lorenzo Cotula and Thierry Berger of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), assert that this multilateral process could provide a unique opportunity to reform this contentious area of global economic governance, but only if it accurately identifies the key problems with ISDS. The authors suggest a sample of key concerns that have not yet been but should be included within a meaningful reform framework.
LNG Import to Electricity Open Model
In collaboration with the Commercial Law Development Program of the US Department of Commerce, CCSI has developed an import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal model that can be used and adapted for training purposes. CCSI also developed an accompanying manual  to facilitate the use of the model. It should serve as a tool for stakeholders in countries that are looking to import gas from the growing international LNG market and seek to understand different LNG-to-power structures and associated risks.

Moving the G20’s Investment Agenda Forward
CCSI Resident Senior Fellow Karl P. Sauvant co-authored a policy brief that argues that investment policies should be a core item on the agenda of the G20 and its Trade and Investment Working Group in particular. Firstly, the brief recommends that the G20 continue its important work on international investment policy reform and initiate steps to operationalize the Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking. Secondly, it recommends that the G20 support ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) discussions on investment facilitation.

International Economic Cooperation in Troubled Times: A Call for Strong Action by the G20
CCSI Resident Senior Fellow Karl P. Sauvant co-wrote a blog detailing the opportunities available at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires (November 30 and December 1) to pursue key reforms on trade, cooperation in tax matters, and reforms of investment policy. By taking strong action in favor of an open and rules-based system of multilateral cooperation on trade, investment and tax matters, it may be possible to combat destructive unilateralism. He also co-wrote a Letter to the Editor of Financial Times based on this blog. 
Upcoming Events
January 30, 2019: A Discussion with Jeffrey Sachs and Philip Alston on Financing the SDGs, Privatization and Human Rights 
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to provide a roadmap for all governments to eliminate extreme poverty and achieve a range of other key economic and social goals by 2030. However, achieving these objectives, including the eradication of extreme poverty, faces a financing gap of trillions of dollars per year. Achievement of the SDGs is at risk unless current finance trajectories can be shifted. Jeffrey Sachs, the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the SDGs, and Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, will discuss the relationship between finance, human rights, and the SDGs, including a focus on current trends toward privatization. More details are available on our website. Registration is free but required. This event is
co-sponsored by the Columbia Masters in Development Policy Program.

February 19, 2019: Is Liberalism Making the World Less Fair? Samuel Moyn, Todd N. Tucker and Tonya Putnam Discuss Recent Books on Investor vs. Human Rights in the Global Economy
Liberal legal systems can make economic life predictable, but have a spottier track record protecting the interests of those who lack economic power. Join CCSI and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights for a discussion on the ability of US institutions to lessen those impacts with three political scientists who have published books on the subject recently: Samuel Moyn, professor of law and history at Yale, Todd N. Tucker, political scientist and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and Tonya Putnam, associate professor of political science at Columbia. More details are available on our website.


June 2019: Executive Trainings on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development, Sustainable Investments in Agriculture, and Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials
We are accepting applications for our three upcoming executive trainings on: Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development (June 3–14, 2019), Sustainable Investments in Agriculture (June 11–21, 2019) and Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials (June 17–27, 2019). Each program is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills, analytical tools and frameworks to address relevant challenges and opportunities, and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe. More information about each training, including brochures and applications, is available at the links above. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Participants will receive a Statement of Attendance from Columbia University.

Alumni Profile: Marcela Chaves
In this month's alumni profile, read about Marcela Chaves, Advisor to the Land and Sustainable Livelihoods Program at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a 2018 Executive Training alumnus. Marcela manages USAID's support to land rights policies in Colombia, including with respect to land restitution, access to land and land titling. In her profile, Marcela discusses the ways in which her portfolio seeks to support communities in realizing improved livelihoods.

Past Events

September 24, 2018: Renewable Energy and the SDGs: Exploring Links with Extractives, Agriculture, and Land Use
CCSI, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and other partners co-hosted a strategic meeting to discuss opportunities and challenges arising at the intersections of renewables and extractives, agriculture, and land use, as relate to the SDGs. The participatory event, intended for practitioners, began with a few short presentations on new research projects, followed by thematic small group discussions. More information, including an outcome report from the event, is available on our website

September 26, 2018: Climate Change, the Courts, and the Paris Agreement 
CCSI co-organized a conference on the use of litigation to hold governments and corporations accountable for their contributions to climate change. This conference brought together leading lawyers and practitioners to discuss the status of and prospects for climate change litigation, challenging both governments and companies, to promote climate justice and deep decarbonization. More information, including an outcome report from the event, is available on our website

November 27, 2018: UN Forum on Business and Human Rights 
CCSI, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Oxfam, and OHCHR's Right to Development Division contributed a background document to the roundtable "Developing a Gender Lens to Business and Human Rights" at the 2018 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. The document focused on the impact of trade, investment, and tax regimes on women. Key takeaways from the discussion the document informed will be incorporated and posted here.

Fall 2018 International Investment Law and Policy Speaker Series 
CCSI’s 13th annual International Investment Law and Policy Speaker Series brought in experts from across specializations to discuss trends and developments in international investment law and policy. If you could not attend, visit our website to view video, or hear recordings, of the following speakers: 
Philippe Sands, QC, Professor of Law, University College London; Eugenio Hernández-Bretón, Partner, Baker McKenzie; Colin Brown, Deputy Head of Unit, Dispute Settlement and Legal Aspects of Trade Policy, European Commission; and Ana Novik, Head of Investment, OECD. 

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