Latest on Corporate Influence and Accountability (External) - Archive

Press Release

Berlin, 14 July 2021 - Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Mohammad Yunus and 66 leading civil society organisations, forming the People’s Vaccine Alliance, have called on Germany to suspend patents on Covid-19 vaccines as Chancellor Merkel travels to the US to meet with US President Joe Biden this Thursday. Dozens of demonstrations and events will take place in Germany and at German consulates across the US, mounting pressure on Merkel to join the Biden administration in supporting a waiver at the [...]


An international study published by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Biba, Bread for the World, FIAN Germany, Forum on Environment and Development, INKOTA-netzwerk, IRPAD, PELUM Zambia, Tabio, and TOAM documents the dramatic negative impacts of the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) on small-scale food producers in the 13 African countries the initiative focuses on.

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Corporate influence through the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in [...]


27 February, 2020

ECCJ and others welcome the release of the findings from the European Commission’s study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain. The results of European Commission's study unequivocally affirm that voluntary measures are failing and that there is urgent need for regulatory action at EU level in order to protect workers, communities, and the environment from systematic, ongoing and worsening human rights and environmental impacts linked to the global supply chains of businesses and financial institutions [...]


26 February, 2020

In December 2019, it was officially announced that the UN Headquarter would be hosting a Food Systems Summit in 2021 with the aim of maximizing the benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda, meeting the challenges of climate change, making food systems inclusive, and supporting sustainable peace. The small-scale food producers’ organizations and other civil society organizations concerned with food, recognize the importance and timeliness of this Summit, but at the same time [...]

Who controls the process, who owns the results? UN Monitor #2

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd

Download UN Monitor #02 (pdf version).

Statisticians from around the world, meeting at the UN Statistical Commission in March, will again take stock of progress in the world of data over the previous 12 months, largely driven by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The official report on filling the gaps in the global indicator framework—a clear priority of the 2018 Commission—show that while some progress has been made much has stalled [...]

A new briefing from Eurodad reveals how the increased promotion of public-private partnerships (PPPs) by the World Bank and others is having a disastrous impact on both developed and developing countries. From the hospital in Lesotho which has swallowed up a quarter of the country's health budget, to the motorways which nearly bankrupted the Portuguese government - we expose how PPPs are enriching the already wealthy whilst ripping off citizens.

On the Role of the Private Sector in Development

European governments and the European Commission have been increasingly supporting a greater role for the private sector in their development cooperation. With new EU policies and instruments such as the European External Investment Plan, it was deemed important for CONCORD members to agree on a common position, common messages and priorities regarding the role of the private sector in contributing to sustainable development. To write this paper, CONCORD Europe's specific work stream on the private sector collaborated with all of [...]

The Rockefeller Foundation and more recently the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have become influential agenda-setters in the global health and nutrition arena. How and why have U.S. mega-philanthropies played such an important role in producing and shaping knowledge, organizations, and strategies to address health issues worldwide? What are the implications for global health and its governance? Anne-Emmanuelle Birn and Judith Richter published a comprehensive article comparing and contrasting the goals, modus operandi, and agenda setting roles of both foundations [...]

Corporate Accountability International released a new report “Inside Job: Big Polluters’ lobbyists on the inside at the UNFCCC,” exposing the dirty fossil fuel trade associations that are stalking the halls of the U.N. climate talks to undermine, weaken, and block progress. The report peels back the curtain on just six of the more than 270 Business/Industry NGOs non-governmental organizations (BINGOs) currently admitted to the climate talks: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Mining Association, Business Roundtable, FuelsEurope, Business Council of Australia [...]

108 national and international environmental organizations sent a letter to the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to raise their concerns about the selection of authors for the special report on the impacts of global warming, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will present next year. One of the selected authors (proposed by the US government) works for ExxonMobil, another for the Saudi oil company SaudiAramco. The signatories criticize that this selection does not correspond [...]

Model clauses for a UN Treaty on transnational corporations, other businesses and human rights

CIDSE and its members launch a new study by Dr. Markus Krajewski, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, entitled “Ensuring the Primacy of Human Rights in Trade and Investment Policies: Model clauses for a UN Treaty on transnational corporations, other businesses and human rights.” The study seeks to contribute to the debate of how a treaty on businesses and human rights might address the potential conflict between trade and investment policies and human rights in the context of the UN treaty process. It [...]

Civil Society Letter to the IPCC Chair, Dr. Hoesung Lee and the IPCC Bureau

108 national and international environmental organizations sent a letter to the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to raise their concerns about the selection of authors for the special report on the impacts of global warming, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will present next year. One of the selected authors (proposed by the US government) works for ExxonMobil, another for the Saudi oil company SaudiAramco. The signatories criticize that this selection does not correspond [...]

UN expert body takes new steps to prevent corporate tax abuses, but more is needed to ensure companies pay their fair share and stop depleting the resources needed to realize human rights.

Blog by Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)
Last week in Geneva the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – a UN human rights body – held a discussion of its draft General Comment on State obligations in the context of business activities. This General [...]

Advancing investigations and prosecutions in human rights cases

The Corporate Crimes Principles were developed by a group of eminent legal experts, with the support of ICAR and Amnesty International, to encourage State actors to combat corporate crimes more effectively. They were developed following extensive global consultations with investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and civil society actors. The Principles provide practical guidance on issues such as: case selection, evidence collection, identifying tools, resources and strategies for effectively pursuing such cases, cross-border collaboration, and victims’ access to justice and witness protection.

About one week after the countries descended on Marrakech for the negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a new infographic by Corporate Accountability International reveals the true extent of the fossil fuel industry’s access to, and influence over, the talks. The analysis exposes the financial and membership ties between some of the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations and accredited business groups and trade associations at the UNFCCC. These ties present an irreconcilable conflict of interest and [...]

At the conclusion of the seventh session of the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty negotiations, governments representing nearly 90 percent of the world’s population adopted policies that will protect public health over the narrow interests of the tobacco industry. These include tools to hold Big Tobacco legally liable for the harms of its products, recover healthcare costs, facilitate access to justice for victims of tobacco-related disease, and safeguard public health policymaking from the industry at the national and international [...]

New EU Commission plan to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) overlooks the urgent need to address the negative impacts the private sector has on people and the planet. ECCJ, the European civil society coalition working on corporate accountability, believes the Commission’s plan does not reflect the responsibility of companies to respect human rights, throughout their operations and supply chains, and their primary obligation to do no harm by preventing and mitigating abuses.

By Coline Charrasse

The Tribunal of Monsanto was held from October 14th to October 16th in The Hague, Netherlands at the headquarters of the International Court of Justice.

For two days, agrochemical victims, experts, and witnesses from around the world shared their experiences with five internationally renowned judges in order to assess Monsanto’s activities, particularly in terms of the right to food, the right to health, the right to a healthy environment, and the right to information.

Corinne Lepage, the former French Minister [...]

Lessons from SOMO's Multinational Corporations in Conflict-Affected Areas programme

A new report by SOMO reveals that multinational companies operating in conflict-affected areas often lack proper policies on how to deal with conflict situations – thereby running the risk of contributing to human rights violations and sparking renewed conflict. To meaningfully contribute to peace, multinationals must act with much greater care in situations of fragility and conflict.

An attack on us, our planet, and democracy

Corporations like Monsanto have vast resources to buy political power through lobbying. Not only are they represented by numerous lobbying associations at every level from local to global, they also have an army of hired-gun lobbyists, fund scientists to act as their mouthpiece, and participate in ‘greenwashing’ projects. A short guide published by Corporate Europe Observatory at the occasion of the International Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, exposes some of Monsanto’s key lobbying strategies and tools, illustrated with examples from [...]

The European Commission should start listening to its citizens and come out with concrete plans to enhance corporate accountability, at home and abroad, urge Jerome Chaplier, Urs Rybi and Sandra Cossart. The European Commission is slow in responding to a letter by eight EU parliaments urging the institution to develop an ambitious legal proposal requiring corporate respect of human rights. But acting with a lack of urgency means delaying justice and remedy for victims and affected communities across the globe [...]

The signing of COP21 was heralded by political and business leaders as a historic turning point. Yet at EU and UN levels it appears to remain business as usual: non-binding targets, fossil fuels and failed market mechanisms. That's because both processes have actively brought the fossil fuel industry into climate policy making – the very same companies responsible for climate change. With Big Polluters so close to policy makers, it’s no wonder climate policy is being shaped in the interest [...]

by Shiney Varghese, Sr. Policy Analyst, IATP

On 21 September 2016 the newly convened High Level Panel on Water (HLPW), called for a fundamental shift in the way the world looks at water. Supported by the World Economic Forum and its water initiative, the HLPW was formed to help “build the political momentum” to deliver on the UN mandated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on “water and related targets” that the UN member [...]

A different perspective on Tax Inspectors Without Borders

Taxation of multinational corporations is of utmost importance to developing countries, which on average generate around 10% of government revenues from this source. However, there are clear indications that the current international system is not working. One type of tax avoidance alone is currently costing developing countries between $70 billion and $120 billion per year. While often considered highly immoral, such international tax avoidance is often, technically speaking, legal. One of the solutions proposed to developing countries to increase their [...]

A new brief by Kinda Mohamadieh from the Souc Centre discusses possible approaches to addressing States’ obligations under a prospective international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of TNCs and other business enterprises. The duty of the State to protect against human rights violations by private entities and to ensure remedies for victims of such violations is well established under international human rights law. Yet, given the globalized and rapidly evolving economic realities driven [...]