Posts Tagged ‘safeguards’

Basel COP10: Shipbreaking, E-Waste, and Global Waste Management

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Laura Drummond, Law Fellow

By Laura Drummond, Law Fellow

The Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (COP10) will be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia from October 17-21, 2011. Adopted in 1989, the Basel Convention now boasts 178 State Parties. The overall objective of the treaty is to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.   In order to achieve this, the Convention requires Parties to limit the transboundary movement of waste, and only allows the export of waste with the prior informed consent of the importing state.  The theme of COP10 is “Prevention, minimization and recovery of wastes.” COP10 will be particularly important in determining the future of the Convention. Read more…


Cowboys and Aliens … and Goldcorp?

September 16, 2011 1 comment

Copyright 2011 Universal Pictures

By Amanda Kistler, Guatemala Project Campaigner

What does the new blockbuster hit Cowboys and Aliens (starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig) have in common with the Marlin Mine in Guatemala? Or rather, what do cowboys, aliens and Goldcorp all have in common? An unquenchable thirst for gold.

My most recent trip to the box office promised action, aliens, and Harrison Ford. I never expected that the battle between aliens and cowboys to control the Wild West would come down to a “who-gets-the-gold?” showdown of epic proportions. Turns out even aliens are willing to set up operations in remote areas, begin extraction in secret and disregard our planet for gold in this summer’s flick. Read more…

What’s hot in climate change

June 6, 2011 Leave a comment

By the CIEL Climate Team

Climate negotiations resume in Bonn, Germany this week with a full agenda and against a backdrop of reports that last year’s global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were at record levels despite the global economic downturn.  While the meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Cancun, Mexico last December failed to resolve a number of fundamental outstanding issues (such as the inadequacy of GHG reduction targets Parties have put forward and the ultimate legal form the negotiations will take), Parties will be busy this week and next elaborating a number of fundamental building blocks of the climate regime that were agreed in Cancun.  A quick overview of the issues CIEL is actively working on this week and next in Bonn follows. Read more…

Shareholder Activism: Vote Demands Suspension of Goldcorp Mine in Guatemala

May 15, 2011 Leave a comment

By Amanda Kistler, Guatemala Project Campaigner

We’re off to Vancouver!

As I type this post at 30,000ft flying over Ontario, we are in crunch time preparing for Goldcorp’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vancouver, BC this Wednesday, May 18th!

CIEL is a member of the International Coalition Against Unjust Mining in Guatemala (CAMIGUA), which works to defend the rights of the indigenous communities affected by Goldcorp’s Marlin mine. We use every tool available to us, including shareholder activism. The shareholders resolution we’ve submitted this year, which CIEL Senior Attorney Kris Genovese will defend on Wednesday, Read more…

The Real Cost of Coal

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Staff Attorney

By Niranjali Amerasinghe

Last time I blogged, I wrote about how coal-based power projects are not as cheap as they seem.  This is because coal projects have a number of hidden social and environmental costs or externalities that are either under-valued or excluded from the typical economic costs calculus.   Today, I’d like to highlight a recent case that illustrates this exact point: the famous Eskom loan.

Last year, the World Bank approved a 3.75 billion dollar loan to Eskom Holdings (a large energy provider in South Africa) through the South African Government.  The bulk of that loan, 3.04 billion of it to be exact, is allocated to fund a 4,800 MW coal plant (Medupi) in Lephalale, South Africa.  Once completed, Medupi will tie for the largest coal plant in South Read more…

Marching on hot coals

February 28, 2011 1 comment

By Niranjali M. Amerasinghe

Niranjali M. Amerasinghe, Staff Attorney

On March 1, 2011, activists will hold rallies in cities around the world to mark a Day of Action, calling on the World Bank to phase out lending for fossil fuel generated power. For those who can’t attend in person, there will be virtual actions on the same day, which is very exciting!

Most often, the justification provided by the World Bank and other international financial institutions for continuing to support fossil fuel generated power is that it brings much-needed electricity to the poor. Or that it’s cheap, efficient, and is just the first part of a longer-term low carbon plan to address energy shortages. But coal plants are rarely short-term; they tend to have life spans of decades. They are also not low carbon or environmentally friendly. Read more…

The Real Cost of Gold: Undermining Human Rights in Guatemala

February 25, 2011 3 comments


By Amanda Kistler

Amanda Kistler, Guatemala Project Campaigner

As the muted colors of the Guatemalan altiplano blurred by the tinted windows of the van, something in the valley caught my eye: an enormous, nearly glowing chartreuse-colored body of water.  Closer inspection revealed this unnatural color emanated from the residual waters in the tailings pond of Goldcorp Inc.’s Marlin Mine in San Marcos, Guatemala.

Despite having worked in Guatemala for two years, I had never seen the Marlin mine until now.  During my years living in rural Guatemalan communities, I had begun to appreciate the deeply interwoven relationship between indigenous Mayan campesinos and their lands.  In Guatemala, land is life. Period.

Read more…