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April 2019 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 Trainings In the News Past Events
CCSI Is Hiring: Researchers on SDG-Aligned Practice in Energy and Agribusiness Sectors
CCSI is hiring two Researchers to develop robust conceptual frameworks that define SDG-aligned business practices in the energy and food and agribusiness sectors. The successful candidate will work with CCSI and external partners to analyze existing initiatives on responsible corporate practice in the energy and food sectors; consult with investors and companies to identify practices and gaps regarding corporate alignment with the SDGs; create a conceptual framework to guide understanding of what it means for companies to be SDG-aligned; and develop implementation principles to guide operationalization for a range of relevant corporate stakeholders. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Strong preference for candidates able to start by late April or early May. Apply here.
Do Companies Have Personalities and Why Does It Matter?
CCSI has launched an interview series on “company personalities,” looking in particular at how a company’s personality determines its negotiation strategy, the contractual provisions it pushes for, and the overall relationship between the company and its host governments. The interviewees are senior experts who have decades of experience advising governments in resource rich countries. Together, the experts’ views give valuable insights into how companies can differ in their strategies and behaviors and how governments can orient their own strategies accordingly. The second interview of the series is with Tony Paul, Principal Energy & Strategy Consultant.
The Executive Session on the Politics of Extractive Industries
The Executive Session (ES) on the Politics of Extractive Industries is a policy innovation lab convened by CCSI to help the extractives governance field better understand  how power, interests, incentives, and political systems shape extractive industry projects, including their development and outcomes, as well as the fate of governance interventions designed to improve them. In this short interview, ES member Carlos Monge, the NRGI’s Latin America Regional Director, discusses the need to account for local and national politics in making technical policy recommendations.
Innovative Solutions for Financing Support to Communities Affected by Investments
Communities affected by resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Without such funding, communities risk losing access to critical land and resources, suffering human rights violations, or missing opportunities to benefit from investments. What innovative solutions exist to mobilize and scale up available resources to better meet the legal support needs of affected communities? A new report authored by CCSI’s Sam Szoke-Burke and Kaitlin Cordes explores this question, focusing on government marshaling of funds, independently administered basket funds, and the potential for impact investment.
Legal Empowerment in Liberia: An Interview with Green Advocates
To give rural communities more leverage in the decisions that affect their lands, Liberian NGO Green Advocates has been using to deepen understanding of land contracts and empower rights holders to participate in decision-making. CCSI interviewed Green Advocates to learn about their work. 
Mapping the Renewable Sector to the SDGs
CCSI, along with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Equitable Origin, and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, has launched the consultative draft of “Mapping the Renewable Energy Sector to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas.” The new report explores how renewable energy companies can strengthen their contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and bolster human rights. The authors welcome feedback through April 15th.
To Fight Climate Change, Think Politics First and Often
In this blog, Nathan Lobel argues that too often, policy wonks design or select climate policies to achieve objectives at the least economic cost, but neglect considerations of political expediency in the process. Rather, for climate change and our other most pressing global challenges, advocates should promote policies that maximize a combination of political savvy and economic efficiency. That might mean fighting for proven and popular policies that deliver visible present-day benefits, such as investments in green jobs and infrastructure included in proposals for a Green New Deal.
Towards G20 Guiding Principles on Investment Facilitation for Sustainable Development
CCSI's Karl P. Sauvant co-authored a brief noting that there is growing support behind an international framework to facilitate investment for sustainable development. It suggests that the G20 consider adopting Guiding Principles on Investment Facilitation for Sustainable Development to help ensure that these efforts result in an effective, coherent, and development-oriented outcome, and proposes guiding principles to that end. It is an input into the May 2019 G20 Summit chaired by Japan. 

Mexico and China Emerging Markets Global Players Reports

The Emerging Markets Global Players (EMGP) Project has just released new rankings of the leading non-financial multinational enterprises (MNEs) from Mexico and China. The reports use original data from company surveys and reports to highlight key characteristics of and trends relating to these emerging market firms and their overseas investments. Explore the reports and data at   

Extractives-Led Local Economic Diversification Framework
The World Bank’s Extractives-Led Local Economic Diversification (ELLED) program promotes the integration of extractive industries projects into local economic diversification programs and encourages the development of competitive local industries and skilled labor, as well as the creation of synergy between public and private sector initiatives and investment projects. CCSI is one of several contributing institutions to its recently launched Framework, which is an online resource that contains guidance and supporting material for the design and implementation of diversification policies and programs. 

UNCITRAL’s PPP Legislative Guide Must be Fit for Today’s PPPs
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is expected to adopt in July an updated Legislative Guide on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). In this blog, Brooke Guven, legal researcher at CCSI, and Motoko Aizawa, President of The Observatory for Sustainable Infrastructure, argue that absent a fundamental reorientation of the most recently available draft which fails to address critical issues of sustainability, the UN stands to miss a huge opportunity to help countries achieve Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The shortcomings of the latest draft chapters of the Legislative Guide are further explained in the authors’ submission to the UNCITRAL Secretariat.


June 11–21, 2019: Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture
We are accepting applications for our executive training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture until April 5, 2019. This interdisciplinary program provides an overview of pressing issues related to agricultural investments, as well as an introduction to relevant practical skills. Participants work with practitioners and experts from within and beyond Columbia University, and receive a Statement of Attendance from Columbia University. To access the application, please visit our website
In the News

Three recent articles draw on insights from CCSI's Renewable Power of the Mine report as well as CCSI's curation of the Transformation Map of the Mining and Metals sector, which maps out the seven drivers that will transform the mining and metals sector in partnership with the World Economic Forum. 
Past Events

April 1: Investment Disputes & Affected Third Parties: Issues and Options for Reform 
CCSI hosted a discussion to explore ways in which investor-state arbitration affects the rights of third parties, and to consider mechanisms that would allow investment dispute settlement processes to meaningfully consider the range of rights and interests at stake in investment disputes. The event was hosted alongside UNCITRAL Working Group III’s 37th session on reform of investor-state dispute settlement, and was informed by CCSI’s work on the impact of the investment treaty regime on access to justice. Slides used during the discussion will be made available shortly on our website.

March 29: Climate Change as  Concern in Negotiating Mine Development Agreements
Tehtena Mebratu-Tsegaye, Legal Researcher at CCSI, participated in a mock negotiation at the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting. The session, titled “Climate Change as  Concern in Negotiating Mine Development Agreements,” addressed how climate change concerns might arise the context of a mine development negotiation, and highlighted the motivations and concerns of some relevant parties in the context of provisions proposed to address climate change.

March 27: Webinar: A Critical Perspective of Third-Party Funding in ISDS
Brooke Guven, legal researcher at CCSI, and Professor Frank Garcia of Boston College Law School, presented the webinar A Critical Perspective of Third-Party Funding in Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which considered the expansive and systemic impacts that third-party funding may have when introduced into ISDS proceedings. This webinar is based on CCSI’s recent publication, The Policy Implications of Third-Party Funding in Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and Professor Garcia’s own research.

March 25–28: CCSI at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference
CCSI participated in four events at this year’s Land and Poverty Conference, in Washington, D.C. on March 25–28. During these events, panel presentations included: Exploring innovative ways to finance legal support for communities affected by land investments; Undermining justice: The investment treaty regime and affected third parties; Agricultural investments under international investment law; and Planning land use to attract investment.

March 12: ESCAP Regional Seminar on Investment Facilitation for Sustainable Development
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held a regional seminar meant to increase knowledge of the issues and required policies to facilitate foreign direct investment as a means of implementation of sustainable development. CCSI's Karl P. Sauvant spoke on “The Role of Investment Facilitation in Achieving Sustainable Development.”

March 6–8: Linkages to the Extractive Industry Sector in Latin America 
CCSI, together with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) and GIZ, developed and implemented a three-day training on linkages to the extractive industry sector in Latin America. Participants from government, civil society and academia from six countries in the region took part in the training. The first two days focused on the training modules developed following the Conceptualizing Economic Linkages to the Resource Sector report, with a special focus on Latin American case studies and participants exchanging personal experiences. The Chilean experience was discussed on the third day following presentations from COCHILCO and the Alta Ley Program. 

March 5: Renewable Energy Integration in the Chilean Mining Sector
The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and the German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce (CAMCHAL) held a workshop on how the Chilean mining industry can help address German manufacturers’ concerns about the environmental footprint of minerals. CCSI’s Nicolas Maennling presented the findings of the Renewable Power of the Mine report with a special focus on how Chile can position itself to supply low-carbon copper. CAMCHAL presented the German-Chilean Eco Mining Concept Network.  

February 28–March 1: Mineral Foundations of the Energy Transition
The Payne Institute for Public Policy of the Colorado School of Mines organized a two-day expert roundtable on the mineral foundations of the energy transition. CCSI’s Nicolas Maennling participated in the workshop and presented findings from the Renewable Power of the Mine report. With the aim of identifying research and policy gaps that exist in current practice, speakers attempted to understand how participating institutions can work together to effect positive change, especially within the frame of environmental, social and trade-related mineral-demand issues. 

February 26: Promoting Environmental Impact Assessments and Sustainable Development in Cambodia 
On February 26, Open Development Cambodia (ODC) launched its Environmental Impact Assessment profile page at a workshop on Promoting Environment Impact Assessments and Sustainable Development in Cambodia. CCSI's Jesse Coleman gave keynote remarks via remote connection. She presented, reflected on its primary objectives, and highlighted how the repository is being used by different stakeholders. Jesse's remarks also pointed to the challenges faced by those working to advance transparency around land investments, and to what more can be done to advance the effective use of disclosed information.

February 19–20: Raw Materials and the Environment
CCSI’s Nicolas Maennling attended and presented at a conference on environmental issues of the mineral supply chain organized by the German Environment Agency (UBA). The conference brought together participants from academia, business, up- and downstream industry, civil society, and government. Nick presented the Renewable Power of the Mine report with a special focus on the future of markets for low-carbon minerals. Information about the conference, as well as complementary materials, can be accessed here
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