Stories written by Carey L. Biron
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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.

Green Groups Offer Broad Vision for Global Paper Sector Reforms

More than 120 environmental groups from across the globe have offered a comprehensive vision document on how to enact, strengthen and implement sustainability reforms across the paper sector.

U.S. Supreme Court “Validates” Vulture Fund Activities

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal by the Argentine government will embolden aggressive “holdout” creditors, anti-poverty groups say, and make it far more difficult to arrive at debt-relief agreements for poor countries.

Deadline Looms for Due Diligence Reporting on U.S. Investments in Myanmar

U.S. companies newly operating in Myanmar have until the end of the month to file official reports detailing the actions they’ve taken to ensure that their investments comply with safeguards around land, human rights and other concerns.

Donors to Assist Developing Countries Negotiate Extractives Contracts

Major donor countries will unveil next week a new initiative aimed at strengthening the ability of developing countries’ governments to negotiate complex contracts, particularly around the extractives sector.

U.S. Corporate Conflict Minerals Reports “Historic” But Incomplete

For the first time, nearly 1,300 U.S. companies have filed reports on whether the products they manufacture or sell are made with minerals that have bankrolled conflict in the Great Lakes region of central Africa.

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