Stories written by Carey L. Biron
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U.S. Proposes “Revolutionary” Carbon Emissions Rule

U.S. power plants would be required to reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions by almost a third in coming decades, under a landmark proposal that constitutes President Barack Obama’s most significant attempt to counter climate change.

U.N. Treaty on Corporate Rights Abuse Sees New Momentum

Some 500 global groups are calling for action by governments next month to jumpstart the process of drafting an international treaty to address rights abuses by multinational corporations, following on a related proposal by Ecuador and others.

U.S. Nearing Approval of Next Generation of Herbicide-Resistant Crops

Two key federal agencies here are in the final stages of approving a new herbicide-resistant crop “system” that would constitute the second phase of genetically engineered agriculture, following an announcement this week.

U.S. Food Aid Reforms May Be Rolled Back

Lawmakers here may roll back recent landmark reforms to how the United States provides international food aid, despite warnings that doing so would reduce assistance for some two million people worldwide.

Post-Rana Plaza, Global Investors Pushing for Systemic Change

A coalition of 134 institutional investors are calling for global corporations to institute new transparency policies throughout their supply chains and to step up assistance to survivors and families still suffering a year after a major fire led to the collapse of a garments factory in Bangladesh, despite repeated warnings from workers.

U.S. Urged to Tackle Lead in Aviation Gasoline

Consumer advocates, public health workers and environmental groups here are calling on the federal government to take a formal step towards regulating the use of lead in aviation gasoline, despite a failure to do so for nearly two decades.

Court Upholds Most of U.S. “Conflict Minerals” Law

The United States’ second-highest court has upheld most of a landmark U.S. law requiring companies to ascertain and publicly disclose whether proceeds from minerals used to manufacture their products may be funding conflict in central Africa.

IPCC Climate Report Calls for “Major Institutional Change”

Greenhouse gas emissions rose more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than anytime during the previous three decades, the world’s top climate scientists say, despite a simultaneous strengthening of national legislation around the world aimed at reducing these emissions.

U.S. Urged to Push World Bank on Human Rights Safeguards

Rights advocates and community leaders, together with some U.S. lawmakers, are urging the United States to take a more robust role in pushing the World Bank to explicitly incorporate human rights into policies that dictate how and when the bank can engage in project lending and technical assistance.

IFC-Negotiated Privately Run Hospital Sapping Lesotho Budget

The world’s first hospital to be built and run in a developing country under a public-private partnership is taking up more than half of the health budget in Lesotho, according to new estimates, diverting resources from populations outside of the capital.

World Bank to Double Lending to Middle-Income Countries

The World Bank is aiming to double its lending to middle-income countries over the coming decade, in addition to expanding its overall commitments to some 70 billion dollars a year.

IPCC Climate Report Warns of “Growing Adaptation Deficit”

The latest update of the world’s scientific consensus on climate change finds not only that impacts are already being felt on every continent, but also that adaptation investments are dangerously lagging.

Drugmakers Agree to U.S. Ban on Livestock Antibiotics

Pharmaceutical companies have overwhelmingly agreed to new U.S. government guidelines aimed at decreasing the use of antibiotics in the raising of livestock, new data shows.

U.S. Joins Global Transparency Tide in Extractives Sector

An unusual combination of industry, government, investors and civil society here is celebrating the United States’ initial acceptance into a prominent global initiative aimed at strengthening transparency and accountability in the extractives industry.

In Accepting Ethiopia, Transparency Group “Sacrifices Credibility”

A major international initiative aimed at promoting transparency in the extractives industry is coming under harsh criticism for accepting an application from Ethiopia, despite significant ongoing legal restrictions on the country’s civil society.

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