UN Global Compact launched a guidance for companies on Just Transition
The UN Global Compact launched on the 8th of September 2022 a new guidance – Introduction to Just Transition: A Business Brief – developed by the Think Lab on Just Transition. This guidance builds on the “Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all” developed by the ILO and it provides an overview of the central role that companies can play in ensuring a just transition. Additionally, it outlines seven main actions for companies:
- Creating a map for internal engagement on just transition;
- Setting a foundation through robust policies and practices to respect rights at work and other human rights;
- Engaging with worker organizations in social dialogue including all affected stakeholders at the discussion table;
- Making long-term business plans that integrate just transition principles;
- Taking action to carry out just transition plans;
- Partnering up with governments, employer organizations, regional/sectoral initiatives, and across supply chains for more coordinated action;
- Measuring and reporting actions, challenges and impacts related to just transition, to promote learning, cooperation, and accountability.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) released the latest numbers on Modern Slavery
The ILO released the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage, which is a result of household surveys and data collection by international organisations on modern slavery. The report estimates that 50 million people are in situations of modern slavery on any given day, either through forced labour or through force marriage. It further reveals that they are 27.6 million people in forced labour, out of 11.8 million are women and girls and 3.3 million are children. This represents an increase of 2.7 million people in forced labour over the past five years, driven entirely by forced labour in the private economy. The report shows that more than half of the people in forced labour are located in Asia and the Pacific (15.1 million), followed by Europe and Central Asia (4.1 million), Africa (3.8 million), the Americas (3.6 million) and the Arab States (0.9 million).
The European Parliament wants to reinforce the incorporation of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in European Deforestation Regulation
The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament voted, on the 13th of September 2022, to adopt amendments in relation to the legislative proposal for the Deforestation Regulation. This proposal intends to tackle deforestation and forest degradation driven by specific products, including livestock, cocoa, palm oil, soy and wood. Amongst the main changes figures the reinforced need to take into account the human rights and the needs of indigenous peoples and local communities as central in issues of deforestation. It also includes due diligence as an important step to demonstrate compliance with the law.
The amended text of the proposed Regulation will be subjected to further negotiation within the Council of the European Union.
European Commission proposed to prohibit products made with forced labour on the EU market
The Commission proposed on 14 September 2022 a Regulation to prohibit products made with forced labour on the EU market, covering all products, namely those made in the EU for domestic consumption and exports, and imported goods, without targeting specific companies or industries. However, Members States are expected to adopt a risk-based enforcement approach and proportionality in implementing the prohibition, with a specific concern for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
Guidelines will be issued within 18 months from the entry into force of this Regulation. The guidelines will include forced labour due diligence guidance and information on risk indicators of forced labour.
Patagonia goes purpose by turning Earth its only shareholder
Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia company, announced to have transferred the ownership of his company to a climate-focused non-profit trust dedicated to protecting the planet.
According to the letter published in Patagonia’s website titled “Earth is now our only shareholder”:
Instead of “going public,” you could say we’re “going purpose.” Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.
Here’s how it works: 100% of the company’s voting stock transfers to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company’s values; and 100% of the nonvoting stock had been given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature. The funding will come from Patagonia: Each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis.
Twelve NGOs started legal challenges against the decision of the European Union to label nuclear energy and natural gas as green
Further to the decision to add natural gas and nuclear energy to “environmentally sustainable” activities in the Taxonomy’s Complementary Delegated Act, twelve environmental NGOs launched a legal challenge to the European Union. The Commission should reply in up to 22 weeks. The NGOs warned that, if the “green label” is not withdrawn, they would take the action to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The NGOs Include, on the one hand, eight Greenpeace organisations, which are claiming against both gas and nuclear energy, and, on the other, ClientEarth, WWF’s European Policy Office, Transport & Environment (T&E), and BUND, which argue against gas. The NGOs state that the Taxonomy’s Complementary Delegated Act conflicts with other EU laws and does not comply with the EU’s commitments and obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
S&P Global Sustainable provided data showing that 92% of the world’s largest companies will have at least one asset financially-exposed to climate risks
According to a new dataset provided by S&P Global Sustainable, 92% of the world’s largest companies will have at least one asset at high exposure to a climate change physical hazard by the 2050s. Additionally, more than a third of those companies have at least one asset where the physical risks of climate change are equivalent to 20% or more of that asset’s value by the 2050s.
Authors: Ana Carina Duarte and Inês Crispim