Beware of conflict of interest ridden World Resources Institute, its The Access Initiative
The Access Initiative (TAI) of Washington based World Resources Institute (WRI), is funded by European Commission, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Agency, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, World Bank and Libra Foundation.
WRI is funded by likes of Shell. The largest energy company and the second-largest company in the world in terms of revenues has been deemed responsible for the death of Ken Saro Wiwa, the Nigerian author and environmental activist.
Is it possible for the members of The Access Initiative, WRI to give voice to their moral outrage and support the message of National Union of Ogoni Students dated 4th January, 2011 issued to mark the 18th anniversary of the UN declaration of the “year of the indigenous peoples” appealing to the Dutch Parliament to break its silence by making the Shell Oil Company liable for the exploitation of Ogoni people, their environmental and its role in the destabilization of Niger Delta communities and its demand that the Shell Oil be expelled from Nigeria?
Another funder of WRI is DuPont, the world's third largest chemical company in the world.
DuPont has faced fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and litigation over releases of the Teflon processing aid perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also known as C8) from their works in Washington, West Virginia.
PFOA contaminated drinking water led to increased levels in the bodies of residents in the surrounding area. The court-appointed C8 Science Panel is investigating "whether or not there is a probable link between C8 exposure and disease in the community."
The C8 Science Panel started releasing data in October 2008 and linked high cholesterol but not diabetes to exposure. DuPont has also faced U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings from the shareholder group DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value over the company's transparency regarding the chemical.
DuPont has agreed to sharply reduce its output of PFOA, and was one of eight companies to sign on with the USEPA's 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program. The agreement calls for the reduction of "facility emissions and product content of PFOA and related chemicals on a global basis by 95 percent no later than 2010 and to work toward eliminating emissions and product content of these chemicals by 2015." However, questions remain if the biological effects to people from this chemical translate into health effects.
DuPont is a founding member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development with DuPont CEO (at the time) Chad Holliday being Chairman of the WBCSD from 2000 to 2001.
Gerard Colby Zilg, wrote Du Pont: Behind the Nylon Curtain, a critical account of the role of the DuPont family in American social, political and economic history. The book authored in 1974 was suppressed by DuPont. Lyle Stuart re-released an extended version, Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain in 1984.
Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts Amherst ranked DuPont as the largest corporate producer of air pollution in the US. The study found DuPont's most toxic pollution comprised chloroprene, sulfuric acid, and chlorine based on Toxics Release Inventory data. The most massive releases came in the form of more than 4 million pounds of carbonyl sulfide followed by 2 million pounds of hydrochloric acid.
DuPont announced that it would stop selling CFCs with a full page advertisement in the April 27, 1992 New York Times stating “we will stop selling CFCs as soon as possible, but no later than year end 1995 in the US and other developed countries”, people in developing countries are sub-humans in any case.
As of 2011, DuPont is the largest producer of titanium dioxide in the world, primarily provided as a white pigment used in the paper industry. DuPont has its R&D facilities located in India as well among other countries. It makes an average investment of $1.3 billion annually in a diverse range of technologies for many markets including agriculture, genetic traits, biofuels, automotive, construction, electronics, chemicals and industrial materials.
DuPont doesn't report, illegally, “substantial risk of injury to health or the environment” of its chemicals from the findings of 57 of its own studies, it gets a relatively negligible penalty of having to dish out a few million dollars. In fact, despite a history of serious chemical violations, the company was recently allowed to skip federal review required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for one of its newest projects, because it falls under the broad category of "clean energy."
This is only the tip of the iceberg in a long line of environmental abuses from Dupont.
In 2005, Dupont was required to pay more than $10 million—a record civil penalty that EPA enforcers called "a strong message"— for hiding the dangers of C8, a toxic chemical, for two decades; thousands of people have also filed two class-action lawsuits and groups such as the Dupont Accountability Coalition have been formed in recent years to fight the company's record of environmental abuses. On the contrary, $10 million is just a drop in the bucket when you look at the fact that DuPont brought in $27.33 billion in revenue and $1.75 billion in net profit in 2009 alone. Did EPA really send DuPont a strong message?
Most recently, on December 21, U.S. EPA announced that DuPont will have to pay another $3.3 million for 57 toxic substances violations related to illegally not submitting 176 chemical toxicity studies on rats. Again, a few million dollars may be a lot to an individual, but it is hardly anything to a company that manufacturers chemicals used by millions of people every day. One more time, EPA enforcers seem to think they have gotten DuPont to pay for its negligence. I imagine DuPont's higher-ups are laughing about the penalty, or not even thinking about it at all.
Furthermore, despite the company's bad record, it has received $8.9 million in stimulus funds for a project creating biofuel from seaweed. The review process was fast-tracked because it falls under the category of "clean energy," but is this really enough of a reason to completely trust a company like DuPont? I'm all for clean energy, but I would feel better if the federal government spent more time reviewing the project, given Dupont's record.
Despite answering yes to the question “Does the proposed project have highly uncertain and potentially significant environmental effects or involve unique or unknown environmental risks?” and admitting the project entailed such risks as the use of “hazardous or toxic materials,” “additional chemical storage,” and “additional waste handling capabilities” in a three-page questionnaire, energy officials found that this first phase of the project could be excluded from NEPA review. (Note: BP also bypassed NEPA review for its Deepwater Horizon rig, and, like DuPont above, for the first phase of a project to to capture carbon emissions from oil refineries and store them beneath oil fields.)
WRI funder, Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third- largest mining company has been deemed guilty of collusion with fascist and racist regimes and faces allegations of human, labour and environmental rights violations around the world and over decades.
Other funders like PepsiCo, Syngenta, Wal-Mart faces opposition from affected communities and those organisations that are not funded by corporations for CSR. Others include World Business Council for Sustainable Development too.
Lalanath De Silva is Director and Monika Kerdeman is the project coordinatorof The Access Initiative (TAI), World Resources Institute (WRI).
It claims to be working to promote Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration made at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.
It is also claimed that Principle 10 is the foundation of the Aarhus Convention (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe [UNECE] set up in 1947 by ECOSOC).
The UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters was adopted on 25th June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in the 'Environment for Europe' process.
The Aarhus Convention is a new kind of environmental agreement. The Convention:
Links environmental rights and human rights
Acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations
Establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders
Links government accountability and environmental protection
Focuses on interactions between the public and public authorities in a democratic context.
Principle 10 states: “Environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided”
The Access Initiative began in 1999 claims to be active in 45 countries.
TAI is led by seven civil society organizations (the Core Team). Each Core Team member acts as a regional lead:
Africa: Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) (Uganda) and Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme Cameroon, BDCPC (Cameroon);
Southeast Asia: Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) (Thailand);
South Asia: Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE) (India);
Europe: Environmental Management and Law Association (EMLA) (Hungary);
Latin America: Corporación PARTICIPA (Chile) and Iniciativa de Acceso-México (Mexico);
All Other: World Resources Institute (WRI) (United States).
WRI also acts as the secretariat for the global TAI network.
WRI Board of Directors
James A. Harmon (Chairman of the Board)
Chairman, Caravel Management LLC; former President of the Export-Import Bank, United States
Harriet (Hattie) Babbitt (Vice Chair)
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States, United States
James Gustave Speth (Founder and Trustee Emeritus)
Former Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, United States
William D. Ruckelshaus (Chairman Emeritus)
Strategic Director, Madrona Venture Group; former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States
Alice (Tish) F. Emerson (Vice-Chair Emeritus)
President Emerita, Wheaton College, United States
President of VIVA Trust, Costa Rica
President, Natural Resources Defense Council, United States
President and CEO, The Rock Creek Group, United States
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Former President of Brazil; currently Professor-at-Large at the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies at Brown University, United States
Co-Founder & Former CEO, Zipcar; CEO, GoLoco.org, United States
Student, Harvard Business School, United States
Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., United States
Daniel L Doctoroff
President of Bloomberg, LP, United States
Jamshyd N. Godrej
Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co. Ltd., India
Chairman of Generation Investment Management, London; and former Vice President of the United States, United States
Professor and Executive Vice President, Tsinghua University (Beijing), China
President, World Resources Institute, United States
Managing Director, Strategic Growth, Weston Solutions, Inc., United States
Preston R. Miller, Jr.
Partner, The Tremont Group, LLC, United States
Douglas R. Oberhelman
Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar, Inc., United States
Chairman, Sveaskog; Former Prime Minister of Sweden, Sweden
President and Chief Executive Officer, Invenergy, United States
Former Governor of New Mexico, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former Energy Secretary, United States
Theodore Roosevelt IV
Managing Director, Barclays Capital, United States
Stephen M. Ross
Chairman and CEO, Related Companies LP, United States
Globalization Topic Advisor, Boston Consulting Group, United States
Lee M. Thomas
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rayonier, United States
Todd S. Thomson
Chairman, Dynasty Financial Partners, United States
Dr. Susan Tierney
Managing Principal, Analysis Group, Inc. United States
Clinton A. Vince
Partner, SNR Denton, Chair of Energy, Transport and Infrastructure sector, United States
Diana H. Wall
Director, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Professor of Biology and Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, United States
Co-founder and Managing Partner, Angeleno Group, United States
The only Indian Jamshyd N. Godrej on the WRI Board is is the Past President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Past President of the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association.
Mr. Godrej is the Chairman of the CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre. The Centre is housed in a LEED Platinum demonstration building which is the first green building in India and the greenest building in the world at the time when it was rated. The Green Business Centre is a Centre of Excellence for green buildings, energy, energy conservation, non-conventional energy sources, water policy, water conservation, etc.
Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. manufactures and markets refrigerators; washing machines; air conditioners; office furniture; home furniture; security equipment for banks (such as safes, strong room doors, bank lockers, etc.) and for commercial establishments and homes; locks and latches, forklift trucks and warehousing equipment; process equipment for chemical, petrochemical, refineries and allied industries; precision tools for sheet metal, zinc, aluminium and thermoplastics; real estate development.
Godrej is the Chairman of Aspen Institute – India. He is the Vice President of World Wide Fund for Nature – International and was the President of World Wide Fund for Nature – India from 2000 to 2007.
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Strategic Relationships learn more here >>>(Page Not Found)
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Solidarities in the nuclear Anthropocene: Prof Bo Jacobs reflects on radioactive fallouts of N-tests - Consequences of Nuclear Tests, Pokhran and Beyond: An Interview with Prof. Robert Jacobs | DiaNuke.org Editor’s note: On the 25th anniversary of the N-te...
+ comments + 3 comments
Hi There -- I applaud the idea of creating a safer home, and because there's so much misinformation out there about the Teflon® brand, I'm not surprised that you are concerned. I'm a representative of DuPont though, and hope you'll let me share some information with you and your readers so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.
Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at the Teflon® brand. This article highlights what they found -- the bottom line is that you can use Teflon® non-stick without worry.
I'd truly be glad to share additional information about it if you are interested, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Cheers, Sara.
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