New research published today reveals the devastating consequences of the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. A common ingredient in international trade and investment agreements, ISDS creates a parallel justice system that rolls out the red carpet for corporations to sue states when they act in the public interest.
In 2017 the Nigerian community of Ikebiri launched a court case against the Italian oil company ENI demanding clean-up of and compensation for an oil spill caused in 2010 by the failure of ENI’s pipeline. Friends of the Earth Europe and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA) have been supporting the community in this unprecedented court case which was started in Italy in January 2018.
Friends of the Earth has today delivered a court summons to Shell at its headquarters in the Hague, to legally compel the company to cease its destruction of the climate, in a historic climate litigation on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries.
Exxon-Mobil's tactics of deliberately spreading false information on climate change have been exposed today in a public hearing in the European Parliament.
But the company’s refusal to attend the hearing has led a growing number of Members of the European Parliament to back calls to strip Exxon-Mobil lobbyists of their parliamentary access badges.
Myriam Douo, transparency campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said:
The EU has decided to drop out of UN negotiations on a binding treaty to make multinational corporations accountable for human rights abuses committed overseas, according to leaked documents seen by Friends of the Earth Europe.
Three years ago, Honduran activist and community leader Berta Cáceres was brutally murdered. Every year, around 200 environmental defenders are killed or assaulted around the world - crimes that are often linked to multinational companies violating human rights. Only a binding agreement on a global basis could put an end to this horrendous injustice.
Last week, governments met at the United Nations in Vienna to discuss potential changes to the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) system. This parallel justice system, benefitting multinationals and elite corporate lawyers, has been widely criticised around the world for its damaging impacts on the environment, on democracy and on public budgets.
Last week, 94 countries negotiated at the UN in Geneva the draft text for a binding treaty on business and human rights. The aim of this treaty is to stop human rights violations by transnational corporations and to give victims globally fair access to justice. You would expect the European Union (EU) to play a leading role in this process - but the EU and member states chose to remain silent.
This week, world leaders will meet at the United Nations in Geneva to negotiate a historic international treaty to ensure companies respect human rights and the environment in their global operations – the UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights. Representatives of the European Union will be attending the opening and closing session, but will not participating in discussions on the content of the treaty text. Why this abstention when we are talking about protecting people's rights against damaging corporations, about giving victims of corporate abuse access to justice?