Stories written by Carey L. Biron
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World Bank Urged to Rethink Reforms to Business-Friendliness Report

Civil society groups from several continents are stepping up a campaign urging the World Bank to strengthen a series of changes currently being made to a major annual report on countries’ business-friendliness.

U.S., Brazil Nearing Approval of Genetically Engineered Trees

The U.S. and Brazilian governments are moving into the final stages of weighing approval for the commercialisation of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, moves that would mark the first such permits anywhere in the world.

Despite Current Debate, Police Militarisation Goes Beyond U.S. Borders

The shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in the southern United States earlier this month has led to widespread public outrage around issues of race, class and police brutality.

U.S. Waives Sanctions on Myanmar Timber

Civil society groups are split over a decision by the U.S. government to waive sanctions on Myanmar’s timber sector for one year.

IFC Warned of Systemic Safeguards Failures in Honduras

For the second time this year, an internal auditor has criticised the World Bank’s private sector investment agency over dealings in Honduras, and is warning that similar problems are likely being experienced elsewhere.

Forest Rights Offer Major Opportunity to Counter Climate Change

The international community is failing to take advantage of a potent opportunity to counter climate change by strengthening local land tenure rights and laws worldwide, new data suggests.

U.S. Debating “Historic” Support for Off-Grid Electricity in Africa

Pressure is building here for lawmakers to pass a bill that would funnel billions of dollars of U.S. investment into strengthening Africa’s electricity production and distribution capabilities, and could offer broad new support for off-grid opportunities.

U.S. Accused of Forcing EU to Accept Tar Sands Oil

Newly publicised internal documents suggest that U.S. negotiators are working to permanently block a landmark regulatory proposal in the European Union aimed at addressing climate change, and instead to force European countries to import particularly dirty forms of oil.

Major Companies Push for More, Easier Renewable Energy

Some of the largest companies in the United States have banded together to call for a substantial increase in the production of renewable electricity, as well as for more simplicity in purchasing large blocs of green energy.

Scepticism as “Green Goods” Trade Talks Begin

Formal negotiations began this week around the increasingly significant global trade in “environmental goods”, those technologies seen as environmentally beneficial, including in combating climate change.

U.S. Overseas Coal Financing May Be Restarting

Landmark new policies that have sharply curtailed U.S. financing for international coal projects may be rolled back, the result of a sudden, polarised fight over a little-known government agency here.

Obama Urged to Sanction Mozambique over Elephant, Rhino Poaching

Environmentalists are formally urging President Barack Obama to enact trade sanctions on Mozambique over the country’s alleged chronic facilitation of elephant and rhinoceros poaching through broad swathes of southern Africa.

Obama Proposes “Aggressive Deterrence” for Child Migrants

Facing what some have dubbed a refugee crisis, President Barack Obama is asking for new powers that would significantly speed up the deportation process for tens of thousands of unaccompanied children recently arrived at the southern U.S. border.

IMF Issues “Revolutionary” Warning on Corporate Tax Avoidance

The staff at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued an unusually stark warning over the lack of harmonised global tax policies, pointing out that these gaps are allowing for widespread tax gaming by corporations with particularly negative impacts for developing countries.

Companies Urged to Disclose “Plastic Footprint”

The environmental cost of the plastics used by corporations producing consumer goods likely mounts to more than 75 billion dollars a year, according to a first-time valuation released Monday by the United Nations and others.

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