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CIGI Papers

Climate Change and Human Rights: How? Where? When?

November 27, 2015
CIGI Papers No. 82
Actions taken to mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change must be centred on human rights. This paper analyzes a few examples of national, subnational and corporate climate change policies to show how they have either enshrined human rights principles, or failed to do so. It also examines the challenge of integrating human rights principles in climate change actions. Climate change policies, if they are to respect all human rights, must actually use human rights language to articulate adaptation or mitigation measures.

When CO2 Goes to Geneva: Taxing Carbon across Borders — Without Violating WTO Obligations

November 27, 2015
CIGI Papers No. 83
Carbon taxes become relevant for international trade when they are coupled with border tax adjustment (BTA) legislation for imported products. BTAs are intended to level the playing field between domestic and foreign products, but such tax schemes, if not designed properly, can be found to violate a country’s international commitments before the World Trade Organization (WTO). This paper argues that environmentally conscious governments can impose a WTO-compatible BTA to offset domestic CO2 legislation, and that federal governments need to engage in coordinated efforts to harmonize treatment of high CO2 emitters domestically, since domestic industries will not bear the burden of environmental regulation alone.

Global Patent Pledges: A Collaborative Mechanism for Climate Change Technology

November 27, 2015
CIGI Papers No. 81
Access to and timely diffusion of green technologies required for adaptation and mitigation are among the major challenges faced by the international community. The role of the patent system has become the subject of increased attention in climate change discussions on technology transfer. New mechanisms for collaborative innovation are required to foster the green technology sector.

Fixing Climate Governance through Effective Technology Partnerships

November 5, 2015
Fixing Climate Governance Paper No. 3
Arunabha Ghosh and Sudatta Ray
This paper describes three obstacles that have impeded climate-friendly technologies, namely, lack of appropriate financing, intellectual property restrictions and insufficient or underutilized capacity and outlines proposals for two new partnerships that could be designed to target these challenges and be more effective than previous efforts: a partnership on energy access and a partnership on energy storage and grid balancing.

A Climate Change Litigation Precedent: Urgenda Foundation v The State of the Netherlands

November 4, 2015
CIGI Paper No. 79
In June 2015, The Hague District Court rendered a historic judgment in the climate case of Urgenda Foundation v The State of the Netherlands, stating that the Dutch state commits “a tort of negligence” by not adequately regulating and curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Roger Cox, lead counsel for Urgenda, presents his account of the case and the ruling, which marks the first successful climate change action founded in tort law — and a landmark precedent for such cases in other jurisdictions around the globe.

Voluntary Sustainability Codes of Conduct in the Financial Sector

November 3, 2015
CIGI Paper No. 78
Olaf Weber and Ifedayo Adeniyi
This paper discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the financial sector voluntary sustainability codes of conduct. It concludes that enforcement of the codes of conduct is a major issue, that they mainly focus on the business case of sustainability, rather than the impact on sustainable development, and that the codes of conduct are compromises that each financial institution can agree to without changing their business to move in a more sustainable direction.

One in Three: Internet Governance and Children's Rights

November 2, 2015
GCIG Paper No. 22
Sonia Livingstone, John Carr, and Jasmina Byrne
As Internet use rises in developing countries, international Internet governance organizations face a key challenge in shaping, through multi-stakeholder processes, the emerging models of best practice that will underpin the development of positive norms recognized by states, parents and other relevant parties. The paper ends with six conclusions and recommendations about how to embed recognition of children’s rights in the activities and policies of international Internet governance institutions.

Climate Technology Partnerships: Form, Function and Impact

October 27, 2015
Fixing Climate Governance Paper No. 2
Arunabha Ghosh, Anupama Vijayakumar, and Sudatta Ray
With halting progress in climate negotiations, there are growing calls for partnerships among self-selected pools of countries, in the expectation that they would facilitate consensus (among both developed and developing countries) and result in faster decision making. In critically examining such a claim, this paper asks: what kinds of partnerships could facilitate coordinated climate-related action across several countries?

The Impact of Financial Sector Sustainability Regulations on Banks

October 1, 2015
CIGI Paper No. 77
Olaf Weber and Olawuwo Oni
This paper analyzes the impact of three financial sector sustainability regulations: the Chinese green credit guidelines, the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles and the Bangladesh Environmental Risk Management Guidelines. All three address the connection between financial sector activities and sustainable development, and develop guidelines for sustainable banking policies, strategies, practices, products and services.

The Dark Web Dilemma: Tor, Anonymity and Online Policing

September 30, 2015
Online anonymity-granting systems such as The Onion Router (Tor) network can be used for both good and ill. The Dark Web is possible only because of online anonymity.
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