AG Subpoenas Exxon Contact with Civil Society

May 04, 2016

As part of a campaign by US state attorneys general to hold energy company ExxonMobil liable for allegedly false communications on the science of climate change, Attorney General ("AG") of the US Virgin Islands Claude Walker has subpoenaed communications between Exxon and 90 organizations "engaged in research or advocacy" on global warming.

Experts: US Congress Must Halt UNFCCC Funding

April 27, 2016

Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves of the Heritage Foundation write that legislators must not allow the Obama Administration to "circumvent" US law by funding the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ("UNFCCC") following the accession of the Palestinian Authority to the UNFCCC treaty.

EU Charges Google with Antitrust Violations

April 20, 2016

Politico reports that, in the latest legal feud between the EU and an American tech giant, the European Commission has announced that it has charged Google with antitrust violations stemming from the apps the Commission says Google requires manufacturers to install on the company's Android operating system.

US Struggles to Implement Visa Safeguards

April 13, 2016

Politico reports that the Obama Administration has not so far expressed clear criteria regarding how it plans to implement a recent US law requiring, for security purposes, dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan to apply for visas to enter the US.

 

Weekly Update

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  • UN Pushes Climate Measures Through "Action Coalitions"

    May 06, 2016

    At a "Climate Action Summit" in Washington, DC, the UN is seeking to forge "action coalitions" of representatives from governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and academia to assist with taking the implementation of the UN's worldwide climate agreement signed in April to the "next level."

     
  • UN Pursues Economic Transformation Through Sustainability

    May 06, 2016

    At a recent panel at UN headquarters in New York, UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner and representatives from governments, nongovernmental organizations, and businesses discussed how to transform the global economy through a shift to "sustainable consumption and production" patterns to achieve the UN's sustainability agenda.

     
  • UN Calls for Further Steps Toward "Sustainable Finance" in India

    May 06, 2016

    The UN Environment Programme has co-authored a report with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry calling for further steps in India to align the banking and financial industries with the UN's sustainability agenda, including through new financial regulation and boosting access to finance for climate-friendly projects.

     
 
  • British PM Seeks Global Anti-Corruption Agency

    May 06, 2016

    The Guardian reports that, at a summit on countering corruption hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the UK Government will push for the establishment of a global anti-corruption agency that would exchange information to help law enforcement authorities detect and prevent corruption and tax evasion.

     
  • MEPs Seek Robust Non-Financial Reporting in EU Member States

    May 05, 2016

    Members of the European Parliament ("MEPs") Sergio Cofferati and Richard Howitt, who claim a role in the agreement of EU legislation that will require corporate reporting of social and environmental impacts, call for EU member states to go beyond the requirements of the Directive in imposing robust non-financial reporting requirements on businesses operating in their territory.

     
  • EU Court Ruling Sparks Drop in Business Carbon Permits

    May 05, 2016

    Bloomberg reports that carbon emissions permits for businesses operating in the EU have dropped precipitously since the Court of Justice of the EU ("ECJ") issued a decision finding that the European Commission had issued too many permits since an expansion of the carbon program in 2013 and requiring it to correct errors in its calculation of free allowances.

     
 
  • EU Finance Tax Faces Fresh Opposition

    May 06, 2016

    Bloomberg reports that EU member states seeking to implement a tax on financial transactions in the bloc are facing new problems as Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt has signaled that his country may pull out of the agreement.

     
  • FRA Seeks EU Monitoring Mechanism on Fundamental Values

    May 04, 2016

    At a meeting in Brussels with representatives from EU institutions, the Court of Justice of the EU, and the Council of Europe's Venice Commission, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights ("FRA") advised participants on developing a mechanism to monitor compliance by the EU and its members with the rule of law, democracy, and fundamental rights.

     
  • EU Proposes Integrated Arctic Policy

    May 04, 2016

    Deutsche Welle reports that the European Commission has proposed its first-ever integrated action plan for Arctic policy, containing 39 actions centering around countering climate change, furthering the UN agenda on "sustainability," and dealing with economic and social issues in the region.

     
 
  • EU Commission Seeks to Ease Travel for Turkish Nationals

    May 04, 2016

    The European Commission has issued a proposal recommending that the EU permit visa-free travel for Turkish nationals in the bloc, in exchange for Turkey's acceptance of the return of migrants from the Middle East as well as assurances that the Turkish government will implement constitutional reforms on security and civil liberties by the end of June.

     
  • UN Document Seeks to Counter Religious Hate Speech

    May 04, 2016

    Participants at a recent conference hosted in Baku by the UN Alliance of Civilizations adopted an outcome document that seeks to promote the growth of "inclusive societies" in part by condemning "any advocacy of religious hatred" that could incite "discrimination, hostility or violence."

     
  • UN Observer Warns of Terror as Excuse for Speech Restrictions

    May 04, 2016

    Praising the role of free expression in "promoting equality and in combating intolerance," UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye and free speech watchdogs from other organizations have warned that governments have been using the war on terror to justify restrictions on free speech and access to information.