Well in the late hours of last night the leaders finally came to an “agreement” that basically says a whole lot of nothing. It’s hard to come away from here thinking that the conference was anything other than a failure. It was very striking to me when…Continue reading
Posted from a comment via HuffPost What I find really interesting is how this is further evidence that people always assume that others would do exactly as they themselves would do. Republicans think the Democrats would stop at nothing to stop something from the other party. Well, we know thats not true, they think too […]Continue reading
Daniel Gross at Slate has a great summary of the surprising speed at which US banks have started to repay their TARP. In a nutshell, Gross is saying that “bankers, especially investment bankers, aren’t interested particularly in long-term shareholder returns or even in providing capital to businesses. They’re interested makingContinue reading
We’ve spend the day watching the live feed of negotiations from the Bella Center, and unless there is a big change in the next few hours then we will end up with a document that basically says everyone realizes that climate change is an important issue…Continue reading
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Well everyone else had one, and we just felt left out…
Seriously, though: here are the top 5 reasons why West Coast has launched the Environmental Law Alert bl…
Since today is a slow day for me, I decided to create a list of all my post from Copenhagen in one spot in case you’ve missed a post and are interested in following my coverage. I’ll update this list with any posts I make after this point.In chronologi…Continue reading
Well my day today again started fairly early with a line up at 7:30 to get into the Bella Center, fortunately today the line actually moved so I was in after about 30/40 minutes. If you got in with an NGO then you didn’t have access to as much of the B…Continue reading
This panel is hosted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Pembina Institute. Guest Speaker are: Jean Charest Greg Selinger Shalini Vajjhala (Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of International Affairs, US Env…Continue reading
3:00 – well this room is standing room only, the speakers are:Ritt Rjerregaar (Lord Mayor of Copenhagen)Amos Masondo (Johannesburg)Rakesh Mehta (Delhi)Robert Doyle (Melbourne)Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico City)Antoni Villaraigosa (LA)Barbel Dieckmann (Chair o…Continue reading
Early this afternoon Iceland hosted an interesting session on gender and climate change. The basic thesis of it is that women must be included at the group at the table at all levels because women have different experiences with climate change. Their a…Continue reading
While the media’s focus is on the negotiations, a lot of the conference here is about presentations from governments and NGOs on many different environmentally friendly things that have worked when they have been implemented. This morning I attended …Continue reading
George Costanza was a visionary, despite being a fictional character based on Larry David. Well, in truth, I just wanted a name to describe a concept, and most names are taken. Even The Human Fund is taken, by an organization in Cleveland. But that didn’t stop me… So here’s the pitch: many of us who […]Continue reading
Well after queuing at the Bella Center starting at 4:30 this morning for when registration opened at 8 (I wasn’t even the first one in line) I did make it in today just before 9. While we can’t get in to watch the negotiations taking place there are a …Continue reading
As one of the side events here at COP-15 CNN is hosting what they’re calling a You Tube debate. It will be starting momentarily and I will be liveblogging it then.Alright, massive problems with live blogging on the BB so here it is with edits all in on…Continue reading
Well after yesterdays disaster I lined up before 5, making me 4th in line for when registration opened at 8. I’m now in and registered despite the messed up pass system. Because the UN registered 40,000 delegates and only have capacity for 15,000 for t…Continue reading
Well besides negotiations breaking down at COP-15 so did the registration process for acredited delegates. Registration opened this morning at 8am, I was there at 7:30, there were probably already a couple thousand people ahead of me so I assumed this …Continue reading
Well I’ve arrived in Copenhagen for the second week of the UN Climate Change Conference. I will be doing my best to liveblog as much as possible, and I will also be tweeting regularly from my phone. You can find me on twitter at http://twitter.com/view…Continue reading
Join the Conversation about this post on google wave or buzz. I’m a programmer and a certified tech geek, so of course I’m playing with Google Wave. I say playing, because there isn’t much you can do at this point on wave except play. This is partly because there aren’t enough people with access to wave yet that communication […]Continue reading
From the Straight: Simon Child has never been to Africa, but that hasn’t stopped the Grade 11 student at Semiahmoo secondary school from trying to improve the human-rights situation on the continent. Child, director of outreach and advocacy with the nonprofit Africa Canada Accountability Coalition, says one way to accomplishContinue reading
From the Straight:
Simon Child has never been to Africa, but that hasn’t stopped the Grade 11 student at Semiahmoo secondary school from trying to improve the human-rights situation on the continent. Child, director of outreach and advocacy with the nonprofit Africa Canada Accountability Coalition, says one way to accomplish this is to force Canadian corporations to act more responsibly in Africa. In a phone interview with theGeorgia Straight, Child said this is particularly true in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo where several Canadian mining companies operate.
Human-rights groups have tried to draw attention to massive human-rights violations of women in two eastern provinces of the DRC, where warring government and rebel forces have been involved in mass rape. Child pointed out that minerals from the DRC are key components of cellphones, iPods, and other electronic gadgets used by youths, and that the Congolese people will benefit if those resources are mined in the most ethical manner possible. “The first step to doing that is getting our government to make sure they’re keeping an eye on these mining companies working in a place that has been called the rape capital of the world,” he said.
This is one reason why ACAC and other human-rights groups are strongly supporting Bill C-300, a private member’s bill introduced by Liberal MP John McKay. The bill has passed second reading and is now being studied by the Commons foreign affairs and international development committee. If it becomes law, mining and oil-and-gas companies will be required to act in a manner that is consistent with international human-rights standards to qualify for assistance from Export Development Canada, which is a Crown corporation. In addition, the bill would prohibit the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board from investing in mining and oil-and-gas companies that don’t respect human rights.
“Mining companies do not like having this reputation of being human-rights abusers,” Child said. “So if we get this bill, we can know who is doing good and who is doing bad. We could clear the air.”
Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International’s Canadian office, told theStraight in a recent interview that governments and companies have long maintained that voluntary standards are the best way to deal with corporate human-rights violations in other countries. “We’ve always said that voluntary isn’t enough,” he said.
Neve noted that in 2006, the federal government launched a consultation process involving industry officials, academics, and human-rights organizations to address corporate conduct abroad. He said that it produced a “remarkable consensus report”, which proposed several steps to enhance human rights. He said the groups waited two years for the government’s response, which he described as a “profound disappointment”.
“We need to get some clear human-rights standards developed,” Neve added. “We need to have a meaningful complaint process that would oversee this, and we need to have some real sanctions to ensure that when companies are acting out and not complying with these human-rights standards, there are sanctions—whether that is losing certain forms of government financial assistance or other measures.”
Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of B.C., told the Straightin a phone interview that his industry supports the creation of an ombudsman’s office to review corporations’ human-rights records. However, he said that an ombudsman should also have authority to investigate nongovernmental organizations. He added that the consensus report proposed an ombudsman’s office to provide more discreet oversight than what McKay’s bill calls for. “The ombuds’ function was to provide a mechanism into looking into matters and attempting to provide solutions,” Gratton said, adding that punitive actions should only be considered as a last resort.