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June 2017 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 and Publications Upcoming Events Past Events

Executive Trainings

In the News

Announcements and Publications

Rethinking Investment Incentives: Trends and Policy Options- A New Short Video Series
The use of incentives to attract investment is connected to and impacts the most pressing challenges facing us today, including climate change, corruption, conditions/availability of employment, harmful competition, and inefficient public spending. How, when, where, and why governments use incentives to attract, keep and influence investment is therefore critically important to whether and how society benefits from investments and to other public policy decisions and trade-offs. It is increasingly apparent, however, that the use of incentives is not well understood—including by the policy makers who use them—which necessitates a closer look and, in many cases, a policy response.

These issues are addressed systematically in Rethinking Investment Incentives: Trends and Policy Options (2016), published by Columbia University Press in July 2016. CCSI has launched a series of short videos from the book’s authors, summarizing the important messages from each chapter. The video series has its own playlist on our youtube channel. 

The New Frontiers of Sovereign Investment
We are pleased to announce the publication of The New Frontiers of Sovereign Investment (Columbia University Press, May 2017), edited by CCSI Fellow Malan Rietveld and CCSI Head of Extractive Industries Perrine Toledano. This edited volume combines the insights and experience of academic economists and practitioners from several sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) to address the range of questions facing both established and newer SWFs: Should SWFs serve both economic development and financial returns—and, if so, how? Will responsible investment enhance long-term returns? How can fiscal rules for SWFs be improved to meet emerging economic challenges?  Featuring contributions from sovereign wealth practitioners from Alberta’s AIMCo, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, as well as analysis by scholars at the forefront of sovereign investment, this volume provides timely and much-needed information on these rapidly evolving institutions.

How Oil and Gas Companies Can Help Meet the Global Goals on Energy and Climate Change
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be pursued in a manner consistent with ending poverty, promoting economic development, respecting human rights, and ensuring social inclusion. CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) published a consultative draft note in January 2017, summarizing the ways in which international oil and gas companies can help expand access to affordable and clean energy and take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. We have now incorporated the excellent feedback received and are pleased to share the revised briefing note. The briefing note outlines steps the oil and gas industry can take to prepare their businesses for the future, to strengthen efficiency and impact of current operations, and to leverage resources for broader partnerships and collaboration. 

Translating Gas and LNG into Money:  An Open Fiscal Model
With the new gas discoveries in East Africa and in the Levantine Basin comes the need for countries involved to better understand the gas value chain and how to structure complex and capital intensive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects for the benefit of the country. Having a fiscal model is key to enable this understanding. Thomas Mitro of the University of Houston and CCSI have built the first open fiscal LNG model that allows users to test different LNG commercial structures, compare domestic gas use options and assess the impact of various fiscal tools along the gas value chain. A manual has been developed to explain key concepts of the LNG value chain and how these can be tested in the model. CCSI released the first version last year. This updated version has several additional features that will allow users to test additional scenarios. Please reach out to if you would be interested in attending a webinar that goes through this second version of the model.

From Oil to Refinery: What is a Good Downstream Policy?
There is a growing sense among the ‘emerging’ natural resource-producing countries that the raw materials should be processed domestically rather than being exported in its unprocessed form. Downstream beneficiation is considered an opportunity to develop the domestic economy by adding value, creating jobs, enhancing skills and diversifying the economy. Large incentives are often offered to build ‘first degree’ downstream industries such as steel plants, aluminum smelters or oil refineries. Yet little has been written about the prerequisites for such policies to succeed and the extent to which downstream beneficiation achieves the intended economic and social goals. CCSI intends to fill this gap. CCSI uploaded several iron ore to steel case studies and is now releasing the first case study of the oil to refinery series: Nigeria.

Associated Petroleum Gas Use and Flaring: Case Study: Algeria
Associated Petroleum Gas (APG) is a form of natural gas that is found associated with petroleum fields. APG is often flared or vented for regulatory, economic or technical reasons. The flaring, however, is problematic from health and environmental perspectives. Moreover, flaring and venting APG wastes a valuable non-renewable resource that could be re-injected into the oil field or used for local and regional electricity generation. CCSI then developed A Policy Framework to Approach the Use of Associated Petroleum Gas. This framework aims at providing guidance for regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders seeking to develop practical approaches to unlock the economic value of APG. This framework relies on a series of case studies and the latest published is on Algeria. Now Has Contracts and Documents From 90 Countries, the online, searchable and user-friendly database of publicly available oil, gas and mining contracts from around the world that was developed by CCSI, together with the World Bank and Natural Resource Governance Institute, now features contracts and documents from 90 countries; it just retrieved the first disclosed oil contract from Guyana from the public domain. Users can search contracts by country, by natural resource or by type of contract; view summaries of key social, environmental, fiscal, and operational provisions; and download full contracts.

Upcoming Events

September 20, 2017: Conference on the Global Pact for the Environment
CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), under the guidance of Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the SDGs, and Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council of the French Republic, will host a one-day Conference to present and discuss the blueprint for a Global Pact for the Environment. In its November 2015 report Increasing the Effectiveness of International Environmental Law: Duties of States, Rights of Individuals, the Environmental Commission of Le Club des Juristes (CDJ) proposed the adoption of a Global Pact for the Environment to serve as a binding, universal “umbrella text” synthesizing the principles outlined in the Rio Declaration, the Earth Charter, the World Charter for Nature, and other instruments shaping environmental governance. This Conference, coinciding with the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, will offer a high-level opportunity to explore the complex legal and political challenges of the Global Pact in light of existing agreements and soft law principles on the environment, and the current global political scene. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. For more information, please see our website here.

Past Events

April 26, 2017: Webinar on Using Tools to Advance Transparency in Land-Based Investments
CCSI and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Openness in Natural Resources Working Group hosted a webinar on Using Tools to Advance Transparency in Land-Based Investments on April 26, 2017. The webinar included a presentation by Sam Szoke-Burke on how civil society and other stakeholders can use to advance transparency around land-based investments. Representatives from the Global Donor Working Group on Land, the World Resources Institute, and Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV), Brazil also presented. A video of the webinar has been made permanently available here.

May 2, 2017: Engaging Stakeholders for Success
CCSI’s Senior Economics and Policy Researcher, Nicolas Maennling, presented on the “Engaging Stakeholders for Success” panel at the 5th Annual Current Trends in Mining Conference in New York. The panel discussed the costs of not engaging communities, how to retain the social license to operate through joint environmental monitoring mechanisms, and how the changing dynamics in mining may have an impact on engagement going forward to obtain and retain the social license to operate.

May 8-12, 2017: Petroleum Training in Bagamoyo, Tanzania
In collaboration with the Uongozi Institute and the International Seniors Lawyer Project, CCSI trained 29 stakeholders from Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. The regional training focused on the petroleum legal and fiscal framework, as well as long-term economic planning and revenue management. Special focus was placed to facilitate the exchange of lessons learned by the participants and respective negotiation teams.

May 17, 2017: Resource Contracts Workshop, Sierra Leone
In collaboration with the National Minerals Agency, CCSI co-facilitated a workshop on to train civil society groups and journalists working on issues related to the mining sector, as well as relevant government representatives, on how to access mining contracts and associated documents, and make use of the data available to inform government and civil society monitoring of mining projects in Sierra Leone.

May 24, 2017: Land Investment Deals in Africa: Negotiating Good Contracts for Sustainable Development
CCSI’s Head of Land and Agriculture, Kaitlin Cordes, joined a high-level roundtable discussion organized by the African Legal Support Facility at the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings. The event highlighted lessons learned from past investments in land and agriculture, and focused on how to enhance the sustainability of investments and the contracts that govern them. 

June 2, 2017: International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development: Sustainable Development Characteristics for Investment
Karl P. Sauvant spoke during the opening session, and moderated a session on “Identifying Sustainability Characteristics”, of the Fourth Round-table on the Trajectory of Investment for Sustainable Development, organized by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum, Geneva, 2 June 2017.

June 13, 2017: Governance of Extractive Industries: Changes, Opportunities and Challenges
CCSI, the World Bank, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) hosted a brown bag lunch discussion about the changes, opportunities and challenges we are most likely to be facing over the coming years with respect to the governance of extractive industries. Discussants included Kevin Ramnarine, Strategic Adviser/ Former Minister of Energy, Trinidad and Tobago, Peter Cameron, Director of the Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy Centre, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK, and Michael Stanley, Global Lead Extractives, World Bank Group, Washington D.C. The event was moderated by Perrine Toledano, Head of Extractive Industries, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. More information about the event as well as the ebook for World Bank’s EI SourceBook is available here.

Executive Trainings

June 2017: Executive Training on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development
CCSI held its 5th annual Executive Training on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development from June 5-16 with 29 participants from 17 countries. This 10-day intensive training brought together public sector officials and civil society representatives from resource-rich developing countries, as well as representatives from the private sector and development agencies, with faculty members drawn from within and outside Columbia University. Feedback from the training was very positive, with participants stating that, "The program was a great experience: excellent tutors and wonderful course-mates” and that, “It was a rewarding experience... I learned a lot of useful things that I will definitely put into practice in my professional life.” The next CCSI training on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development is scheduled to be held at Columbia University in the summer of 2018. Exact dates and additional information will be made available on our website soon.

In The News

Rethinking Land: ALSF Identifies Innovative Approaches to Land Investment
CCSI’s Head of Land and Agriculture, Kaitlin Cordes, was quoted in an article published by the African Development Bank Group that summarized a round-table discussion organized by the African Legal Support Facility at the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings. Discussing land investment deals, Cordes noted that, "governments have a strong incentive to get these investment contracts right.”

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