Tag Archive for ‘European Union’
“Cap-and-trade,” whereby big polluters must pay to emit greenhouse gases against a capped total amount that is reduced over time—has been in effect across the European Union (EU) since 2005. Meanwhile, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Kazakhstan and South Korea have each set up their own national cap-and-trade programs to varying degrees of success, while regional versions have popped up within Japan, Canada and the U.S.
In July 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed a set of principles designed to address human rights abuses by business. In an interview, the man who led development of those principles – Harvard professor John Ruggie – discusses their implications and explains why he thinks the newly-coined term “human rights due diligence” has already become a permanent entry in the lexicon of international business.
The best hope to date was 2009’s American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill that called for the implementation of a “cap-and-trade” system to limit carbon dioxide emissions. That bill failed to pass, and most experts say it’s inconceivable to think the next Congress – or President Obama – would even contemplate strong climate or clean energy legislation.
The UN’s endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights marks not just a successful end to the mandate of UN Special Representative John Ruggie. It also signals a new beginning for business and human rights as companies around the world begin to implement the principles to ensure respect for human rights in all their operations.
There is no overarching international agreement to limit overfishing globally, but a few governments have been able to implement and enforce restrictions at regional levels that have resulted in rebounding fish stocks. The success of these isolated examples gives environmentalists and marine biologists hope that protecting marine hotspots from overfishing can save the biodiversity of the world’s oceans.
Unbeknownst to most Americans, a majority of the processed foods available in grocery stores today are derived from genetically modified (GM) sources—whereby genes have been taken from one species and insert into another to obtain specific traits or characteristics.
In the past, diesel fuel was always considered dirtier than gasoline. But newer standards regulating sulfur content and improved technology in diesel engines have made diesel somewhat kinder to the environment.
New agreements between the U.S., Europe Union and 56 European member states aim to make life more difficult for transnational criminals by making it easier for countries to extradite individuals charged with crimes and to jointly develop and share information.