What does our future on this warming globe hold? We explore this question today with Stephan Faris, who talks about his new book, [amazon-product text=”FORECAST: The Consequences of Climate Change” type=”text”]0805087796[/amazon-product]. And Matt Madia of OMBWatch tells us about a provision in the Waxman-Markey climate bill that would strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Eric Cohen, chairperson for Investors against Genocide and Tim Smith, senior vice president at Walden Asset Management and immediate past chair of the Social Investment Forum, about the campaign promoting targeted divestment by mutual funds from companies supporting the Khartoum regime in the Sudan.
Smith, who helped pioneer the practice of shareholder activism encouraging companies to adopt more sustainable and responsible practices as a founder of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, discusses the novelty and efficacy of engaging mutual funds, which has rarely been practiced until now.
Cohen explains the strategy in-depth, noting that the SEC upheld its validity after mutual fund giant Fidelity challenged it legally. He also cites a 2007 survey in which 71% of respondents said that mutual fund companies should take into account extreme cases of human rights abuses when investing overseas, rather than make their investment decisions on economic criteria alone.
Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding delivered the opening address at the launching of the Marlboro College Graduate Center MBA in Managing for Sustainability program in Vermont where CWR co-host Bill Baue teaches. The talk was entitled, “Sustainability and State Finance: Strategic Decision-Making and ‘Win-Win’ Strategies.” Spaulding discussed a number of different ways the state uses its investment assets to leverage corporate sustainability and responsibility, from aggressively voting its proxies to filing shareholder resolutions addressing issues such as Sudan and climate change to participating in the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a group of institutional investors launched by Ceres in 2003 to promote sustainable business practices. He also explains the complexities of implementing green investing through board-run state pension funds.
Jeremy Scahill discusses his new book “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” “Blackwater has openly declared its forces above the law,” he writes. “While resisting attempts to subject its private soldiers to the Pentagon’s Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)–insisting they are civilians–Blackwater has simultaneously claimed immunity from civilian litigation in the United States, saying its forces are a part of the US Total Force.” The conversation also touches on Blackwater’s bid to serve as “peacekeepers” in Sudan, and the dangerous precedent of Blackwater’s domestic deployment in New Orleans. Francesa Rheannon of Writer’s Voice co-hosts the program with Bill Baue.
Bill Baue speaks with Eric Reeves, professor of English at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and host of SudanReeves.org, about the campaign he helped initiate to divest from international companies doing business with the genocidal regime in Sudan.
Peter Kinder, founding president of socially responsible investing research firm KLD Research & Analytics, compares and contrasts Sudan divestment with South Africa divestment, and KLD research expert on Sudan Claire Moroni discusses KLD’s new Sudan Divestment Tool modeled on the Illinois State divestment legislation.