“All hell is breaking loose.” That’s what Sea Change Climate Correspondent Cimbria Badenhausen skype texted to Executive Producer/Host Bill Baue from Copenhagen at 3:27 pm there on Wednesday December 9, the third day of the UN Climate Conference, or COP15. At that point, protest erupted in support of an “ambitious legal treaty now,” as requested by the so-called Tuvalu Proposal. The tiny island nation is calling for an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to create a complimentary treaty that would limits global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celcius above preindustrial levels, and reduce carbon concentrations in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million.
By Bill Baue of Sea Change Media
The United Nations’ 2005 appointment of Harvard Professor John Ruggie as Special Representative on Business and Human Rights shone a spotlight on the often adverse — and until then under-acknowledged — impact of corporations on human rights. The UN gave its imprimatur, but no budget, making Prof. Ruggie’s staggering compendium of accomplishments over the past four years all the more impressive. Invisible behind the research, stakeholder engagement, and public appearances is constant fundraising — and time stolen from his day job and family — to support his vital work.
Sea Change Host Francesca Rheannon brings us the Sea Change News Analysis examining the sustainability of water as a business proposition. The News Analysis draws on content from the CSRwire.com News Alert by Sea Change Host Bill Baue. For information not included in this version, check out the post on CSRwire.com.
Sea Change Radio looks at the trend of corporate social responsibility using Web 2.0 tools. In this case, a wiki — BASESwiki, specifically (BASES stands for Business and Society Exploring Solutions.) The project was spearheaded by Caroline Rees of the Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative. She collaborates there with Professor John Ruggie, who is also the United Nations Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Working on BASESwiki as part of Ruggie’s team, Rees seeks to leverage the democratic, interactive power of a wiki to gather information on non-judicial dispute resolution at the intersection of business and human rights.
The mandate of John Ruggie as the United Nations Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, first extended by the UN Human Rights Council in 2005, was recently extended another three years. We hear excerpts today from Ruggie’s keynote address earlier this week at the Responsible Investing Forum, which will post the complete talk on its website in the near future.
On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calling on member country governments to promote the UDHR. Now, on the Declaration’s 60th anniversary, responsibility for promoting human rights protections has expanded to include the business community. The UN codified this link in 2005 when it issued a mandate for a Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, and this year it extended the appointment of Harvard Professor John Ruggie to the post for another three years.
The year 2005 also saw the launch of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre as a web platform covering both positive and negative news on corporate conduct around human rights. Today, we speak with Annabel Short, Head of Programme at the Resource Centre, about its innovative work promoting improvements in companies’ policies and practices on human rights.
In October, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre launched the world’s first online portal profiling human rights lawsuits against companies. We caught up with the Resource Centre’s Head of Research Greg Regaignon from its California offices to describe the Corporate Legal Accountability Portal.
CWR News Analysis — Labor Rights are Human Rights
—Wall Street Journal: “When Will That Bailout Money Trickle Down Exactly?”
—Jobs with Justice: People’s Bailout Week
—Coalition of Immokalee Workers Press Release: “Subway Signs Agreement with CIW to Improve Tomato Harvester Wages, Working Conditions in Florida”
—International Labor Rights Forum Press Release: “Working for Scrooge — 5 Worst Companies for the Right to Associate”
—Listen to the complete interview with Jon Weissman of Jobs with Justice
CWR ViewPoint — Mandatory Human Rights Regulations for Companies
We’re excited about our new commentary partnership with Human Rights Watch. We inaugurate this collaboration today with the opinion of HRW’s director of the Business and Human Rights Program Arvind Ganesan.
As icecaps and global markets melt down, localism is rising up as a solution to our ecological and economic crises. United for a Fair Economy and Class Action, two national nonprofits based in Massachusetts that address the inequitable distribution of resources, are sponsoring a workshop entitled “Building a Local Economy that Works for All.” Today, we speak with Class Action Executive Director and United for a Fair Economy co-founder Felice Yeskel, and current United for a Fair Economy Board Chair Prakash Laufer about how the workshop weaves together economic, social, class, and environmental solutions to build a local sustainable economy. We at CWR have spoken with Felice in the past about her book, Economic Apartheid in America. Prakash is former CEO of Motherwear, a catalog company providing clothing for breastfeeding mothers that he co-founded in part on the principles of PROUT, or progressive utilization theory, which envisions a post-capitalist economy that is sustainable and just.
“Barack Obama — a Sustainable President?”
—The Carbon Footprint of Obama’s Campaign
—Obama May Put Renewable-Energy Plan Ahead of Climate Package
—Obama’s potential green team
On September 26, 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy,president of France and the European Union, said, “we must rethink the financial system from scratch, as at Bretton Woods.” On October 22, US President George Bush announced that Bretton Woods II, as it was called, would be held in Washington DC on November 15. The new summit seeks to fix the broken economic order created at the summit of world leaders held in a small New Hampshire ski town as World War II wound down. In today’s ViewPoint, we speak with Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets about her recent CSRwire commentary, “Advice for Summitteers on Reforming the Global Casino.” This continues our series with Hazel commenting on the market meltdown.