Road to Rio: How WWF’s Green Economy Strategy Would Impoverish The Poor

May 2012 – Green Papers: Issue X

In 1992, at the Rio Earth Summit, the United Nations struck a consensus. Measures to achieve sustainable development must equally reflect environmental, social and economic interests. Ever since that historic meeting, green NGOs and some western aid donors have sought to unpick that consensus. They have consistently put up proposals giving priority to the environment over economic growth. Developing countries, on the other hand, have consistently demanded fidelity to the 1992 consensus. All governments are agreed on the need to expand global trade Continue reading

A Roadblock to Food Security; How Halting Land Conversion Threatens Food Security in Africa — A Palm Oil Case Study

November 2011 – Green Papers: Issue IX

Foreword by President J. A. Kufuor
Former President of the Republic of Ghana

Food security is the ability of individual households within a given population to access, at all times, the minimum food that they require for a healthy and active life. As global population continues to grow and developing nations continue to raise their populations’ standard of living, the pressure on global food supplies has increased. This paper addresses the challenge of global Continue reading

Trees Before Poverty; The World Bank’s Approach to Forestry and Climate Change

November 2011 – A World Growth Report

At the United Nations climate change conference in December 2009 in Copenhagen, the World Bank tabled a report recommending a global strategy to reduce the 17 per cent of global greenhouse emissions caused by deforestation and land use. The strategy consisted of curbing the forestry and agricultural sectors, and then substituting them with other industries. In other words, it presented a restructuring of the forestry and agricultural sectors. The Bank sought pledges to fund that strategy throughout and following UN conference based on the 17 per cent number, Continue reading

The Economic Impact of U.S. Trade Sanctions on Imports of Paper Products

September 2011 – A Study by Dr. Robert Shapiro and Sonecon, LLC, Commissioned by World Growth

In September 2009, three, large U.S.-based paper companies (NewPage Corporation, Appleton Coated and Sappi-North America) and the United Steelworkers Union (USW), filed complaints of unfair trade practices by Chinese and Indonesian coated paper producers with the International Trade Commission (ITC) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This conflict between U.S. and foreign paper producers ignores the most basic features of the global paper market: nations expand their capacity to produce paper Continue reading

Abuse of Sustainability Standards; An Attack on Free Trade, Competition and Economic Growth

September 2011 – A Study by World Growth

The case to enhance sustainability is now being used to justify trade barriers, constraints on competition, denial of consumer choice and slower economic growth. In different spheres, governments, large corporations and NGOs are taking action which will produce these perverse results across a common set of industries and products. These are industries which have been selected by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to advance its environmental ambitions. They include timber and paper, vegetable oils, seafood, beef and sugar. The European Commission and some of its leading members Continue reading

Grappling with Inordinate Uncertainty; Measuring the Carbon Footprint of Tropical Land-Use Change

June 2011 – A Study by World Growth

It is fashionable to consider the ‘carbon footprint’ that day-to-day activities of humans have on planet earth. The rationale for this concept is that it will give us a readily understood indication of the emissions of certain gases – especially carbon dioxide and methane – that are implicated in raising the earth’s temperature and the level of the sea which has become the focus of much contemporary concern in the community. The published research has concentrated on primary forest and permanent grassland. Little has been published on secondary forest or degraded forestland. Continue reading

Corporate Social Responsibility – How Global Business is Getting it Wrong in Emerging Markets

May 2011 – A World Growth Study

Every major corporation in the developed world is expected to have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. These are company goals to improve sustainability, social engagement, and labor and human rights which demonstrate the business is a ‘good corporate citizen.’ This report reveals that leading global companies are advancing CSR strategies that are likely to antagonize governments in emerging economies, advance causes of little interest to their local people and jeopardize business activity in the high growth economies of the Emerging Markets. This report reviews Continue reading

A Poison, Not a Cure; The Campaign to Ban Trade in Illegally Logged Timber

May 2011 – A World Growth Study

Environmental groups, such as WWF and Greenpeace, have a global goal of halting commercial forestry and forestry in native forests. One of their strategies to advance this campaign is to generate global concern that illegal logging is a major global problem. One presumption is that high volumes of illegally-sourced wood products are entering the global market. This presumption cannot be substantiated and is very likely to be untrue. The campaign urges trade bans on imports of illegal timber. It has also been driven by industrialized countries, in particular the UK. The campaign is also supported by Continue reading

World Bank’s New Anti Poor Palm Oil Policy

May 2011 – Green Papers: Issue VIII

The World Bank Group and International Finance Corporation have released the Final Framework for Engagement in the Palm Oil Sector. The Framework will have wide ranging negative impacts on the growth and development opportunities from palm oil industry in developing nations. The Framework retains the most harmful elements of the original strategy and will move the World Bank Group further away from its mandate to reduce poverty and establish it as an international environmental regulator. It will hinder attempts to expand food production to meet growing demand and rising prices. Through this Framework the World Bank clearly establishes Continue reading

Green Protectionism and the Lacey Act

April 2011 – A Submission by World Growth

The US Lacey Act is heavy-handed in its approach. Regulatory intervention under the Act is justified under the presumption that high levels of illegally sourced wood products are entering the US market. In reality, this is not the case. This view has been propagated by a political campaign aimed to protect uncompetitive industry. Impartial assessment of the issues is needed before the US Government considers widening the scope of these amendments. The limited assessments that so far have been Continue reading