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Published on August 16, 2012 - Fact Sheets: Enbridge Inc., Canada's largest transporter of crude oil, claims to no longer be pursuing its 'Trailbreaker' plan as first proposed in 2008: to run Canadian tar sands oil through an aging pipeline that stretches across northern New England from Montreal, Canada, to Portland, Maine. Yet given that efforts to send tar sands oil south to refineries in Texas through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — as well as efforts to send the oil west from Alberta to British Columbia — have face stiff opposition and stalled, New England remains at risk.
Published on July 27, 2012 - Fact Sheets: The United States and the European Union are moving toward privatizing their fisheries management systems through catch shares, while Iceland, with one of the world’s oldest and most comprehensive catch share programs, is struggling to find a way to dismantle its program. Why? The answer is that catch shares have failed Iceland’s fisheries and the nation as a whole.
Published on January 09, 2012 - Fact Sheets: From June 20–22, 2012 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, heads of state, UN agencies, and global stakeholders will convene for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) — commonly known as “Rio+20.” The world is at a crossroads: the convergence of global economic meltdown and unchecked global warming is driving action in the streets, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement. We must seize this momentum and use Rio+20 to force a paradigm shift.
Published on September 22, 2010 - Fact Sheets: Basée à Paris, en France, Veolia Environnement est la première entreprise mondiale dans le secteur de l’eau et de traitement de l’eau usée, générant en 2009 un chiffre d’affaires de 50 milliard $ et un revenu d’exploitation de 2,9 milliard $. La société offre un service de distribution d’eau dans 66 pays et détient Veolia Water North America, le plus important fournisseur en eau aux Etats Unis, servant plus de 14 millions de personnes dans environ 650 communautés nord américaines.
Published on July 26, 2010 - Fact Sheets: Formal recognition of the human right to water by the United Nations is a vital first step to ensure that all people have access to this most basic human need. Yet the United States government has historically opposed this movement. It is time for the administration of Barack Obama to take a stand for human rights and throw its support behind a U.N. resolution that codifies the human right to water.
Published on June 16, 2010 - Fact Sheets: The open water aquaculture and salmon industries tout fish farms as an opportunity to create jobs. Given current economic struggles worldwide, any potential for a new industry to increase job opportunities is hard to dismiss. Viable, gainful employment is badly needed. So we decided to investigate these claims. Unfortunately, we found that the jobs created by fish farms are unstable, in some cases undesirable, and are very few in number related to the number of fish produced. In fact, the trend in the industry has been to cut jobs to increase “efficiency” (meaning profit), and to abandon communities if better sites arise elsewhere. Moreover, due to pollution, escapes of farmed fish, and other problems that negatively impact wildlife or aesthetic values of the area, open water fish farms can threaten previously existing jobs in tourism, recreational fishing and commercial fishing. Open water finfish farming (including salmon farming) is a failed promise that offers nothing more than some short-term advantages to the local economy at the cost of long-term environmental, social and economic damage.
Published on June 06, 2010 - Fact Sheets: Factory fish farming in the ocean, a practice also known as offshore aquaculture, is the mass production of fish in huge, often overcrowded cages in the open water. Over the past decade, the fish farming industry, the U.S. Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discussed creating a plan for expanding offshore aquaculture to federal waters. Proponents of this industry have often boasted that it will lead to increased seafood for our country, or even the world.
Published on March 06, 2010 - Fact Sheets: Over the past five years, a little-noticed wave of investors has been snapping up fields and forests in some of the poorest developing countries. Governments, sovereign wealth funds and companies from rapidly industrializing or oil-rich developing nations have purchased or leased millions of acres of land in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The trend is likely to continue. In June 2009, representatives from 200 financial and agribusiness firms gathered in New York to discuss agricultural investments in the developing world. These investments in some of the most productive agricultural land threaten to further undermine food security and sustainable rural economic development in the developing world.
Published on March 04, 2010 - Fact Sheets: In June 2009, the Paris City Council announced that the city’s water system would revert to public control at the end of 2009, after a century of private control. Paris is one of more than 40 French municipalities and urban communities that reclaimed public control of their water systems over the last decade to reduce prices and improve services.
Published on December 19, 2009 - Fact Sheets: The Peru Free Trade Agreement is based on the same flawed agriculture policies that have already threatened U.S. tomato, bell pepper and cucumber growers in the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Peru FTA would provide permanent access to the U.S. market for Peruvian fresh and processed vegetables as well as other crops. American vegetable farmers would be especially vulnerable to Peruvian fresh and processed vegetable imports since Peruvian asparagus, green pea, and onion imports are already significant and growing. American vegetable companies are already investing in processing plants in Peru to take advantage of lower farmland, labor, and environmental costs.
Published on December 07, 2009 - Fact Sheets: We all know that driving a gas-guzzling SUV contributes to climate change, but did you know that what you put on your plate could too? Here‚ how your food choices affect climate change and what you, as a consumer, can do about it.
Published on September 16, 2009 - Fact Sheets: Today, the global food system is in the hands of alarmingly few corporations that can run roughshod over consumer health, the environment, and human rights. Cargill is one of these companies. While its name may not be on the package, Cargill produces many processed food ingredients consumers see in the fine print on food labels like high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils, citric acid, lecithin and xanthan gum. Cargill is probably the largest grain trader in the world, with hundreds of grain terminals worldwide, as well as a fleet of cargo ships that can connect their global network of storage facilities. It‚ a top beef, pork, and turkey processor, and cattle feedlot operator. Its European meat operations are the largest poultry supplier for McDonald‚, supplying them with sandwich patties and Chicken McNuggets. Cargill also lobbies in Brussels on the EU‚ the Common Agricultural Policy. Cargill has been a leading architect of an agricultural system in which it is both buyer and seller, and it has made a tidy profit doing it.
Published on July 07, 2009 - Fact Sheets: Water activists in Colombia are pushing a popular initiative to add explicit protection for the human right to water to the nation‚ constitution. The initiative follows similar reform efforts that succeeded in Uruguay in 2004, Ecuador in 2008 and Bolivia in 2009. These constitutional reforms demonstrate the close parallels between the movement for access to safe and sufficient water and the movement for democracy that is sweeping the Americas. After three years of popular mobilization to build support, the Colombian reform measure is now up for debate before the nation‚ congress.
Published on May 08, 2009 - Fact Sheets: When you think of an embassy, you might think of diplomats dining with world leaders and consulate staffers assisting travelers who have lost their passports. Lately, however, ambassadors representing the United States have been carrying out a less traditional sort of mission in the European Union: promoting the interests of biotechnology companies and the genetically modified products they are attempting to sell around the world.
Published on February 06, 2009 - Fact Sheets: The regulation of genetically modified organisms in Europe is complex, due in large part to the European Union‚ extensive system of checks and balances. It is also complicated by the fact that the EU‚ 27 Member States have their own power, however limited, to restrict GMOs within their borders. Additionally, there are pressures from major GM-producing countries, the World Trade Organisation, biotechnology companies and agribusinesses for the EU to allow more sales and cultivation of GM foods. The landscape, therefore, is constantly changing. Here is an overview of the current state of affairs, as of summer 2008.
Published on September 26, 2008 - Fact Sheets: Nanotechnology is a new field of science in which particles smaller than 100 billionths of a meter can be manufactured by controlling matter on the molecular scale. Made from carbon, silver, zinc, gold and other elements, these minuscule bundles and rods are used in electronics, medical equipment and consumer products such as toothpaste, lotions and sunscreen.
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