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Guest blog: In defence of Unilever and corporate social responsibility

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Guest blog: When elephants fight, the grassroots get hurt

To explain the new and unexpected dynamics we are experiencing, let us consider whether we are witnessing a new three-way economic-ideological battle among global ruling elites.

Harris Gleckmanis Senior Fellow at the Center for Governance and Sustainability, UMass-Boston and Director of Benchmark Environmental Consulting.
He is the former Chief of the NY Office of UNCTAD, Senior Officer for the first Financing for Development Conference, and Chief of the Environmental Unit of the Centre on Transnational Corporations. Over a period of 30 years, he undertook policy oriented research on multinational corporations, global environmental management, financing for development, global governance institutions, and the economics of climate change. He is currently working on a handbook on the governance of multistakeholderism.

 New political-economic forces have upended ‘normal’ international and domestic politics in a good number of nations. This past 12 months has seen the confluence of the Trum…

Guest blog: The robots are coming, your job is at risk

Martin Khor, Executive Director of the South Centre, Geneva.  He joined the South Centre as its Executive Director on 1 March 2009. Prior to this, he was the Director of the Third World Network (TWN), a leading developing-country civil society organization involved in research and publications in trade, environment and development issues. He was also the Editor of the South-North Development Monitor (SUNS).  He is a member of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy.

Previously, he served as a member of the Board of the South Centre (1996-2002), the  Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy, the International Task Force on Climate Change (2003-2005), the Commonwealth Expert Group on Democracy and Development (2002-2003), the United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Environment and Human Settlements in the United Nations System (1998), and the intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on the Right to Development under the UN Commission on Human Rights (as Vice-…

Guest Blog: Green crowdfunding: behind the wheel of the new economy

Philip Drost is a programme officer at UN Environment, working on the role of non-state actors such as companies, cities and citizens in environmental policy and UN Environment’s policy in particular. Topics include showcasing and tracking climate commitments from non-state actors. Before joining the UN Philip worked in the Dutch government on multilateral issues and as legal counsel, mainly in the areas of climate, chemicals and access to information. He holds an LL.M in law. 


Many people are seeking to contribute to a greener, healthier and more sustainable world but question their impact. What is my real influence as an individual on the uptake of clean energy, they ask themselves. Our response would be: why underestimate yourself? There is actually a lot you can do. And the beauty is that you are not alone; the power is in the numbers of people that make these choices. In addition to making sensible and effective climate (and wallet) smart choices such as turning off l…

Ideas on who could be the new Head of UN Habitat!!!

So many changes at the UN due to go in October is Dr Clos head of UN Habitat and people are already discussing who might pick up the Habitat mantel. Habitat III in no way delivered its promise on being the vehicle to help implement the SDGs at a local and sub-national level.

A huge missed opportunity.

The 2017 UN Staff Survey just out which reviews "UN departments and missions in which to work, which have the best leadership and in which do staff feel the most or least empowered.According to the survey findings about UN-Habitat the report says:
" The agency performed well above expectations and enjoyed donor confidence and support until 2011 when it's financial and human resources began a precipitous plunge that up till date has greatly negatively impacting its normative and operational work. The bottom line is that the executive director simply failed to mobilize resources,"  The report faults the Executive Director Dr Joan Clos.
"Compared with seven years ago…

A great new book out Images From a Warming Planet

Ashley Cooper runs global warming images the world's only climate change photo agency. His book "Images From a Warming Planet" is out now and available from here.  It is an art photographic book with foreword by Jonathon Porritt, His photo shoots documenting climate change have taken him all around the world. One of Ashley's images won the climate change category of the Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition in 2010. Ashley's images are used regularly in books, newspapers and magazines around the world, including front cover images of most major UK newspapers. 

Our world is warming and as it warms billions face the consequences. Over 13 years Ashley Cooper has visited exotic and familiar landscapes to capture the impact of climate change. In over 500 photos he shows how we are changing the world around us and leaving a trail of devastation. Extraordinary images present scenes that Cooper describes with accuracy and passion. Each section is designed to…

Guest blog: Ecocide: The need for a new international law to criminalise the destruction of the environment.

Harry Wright is a lawyer, Deputy Co-Chair of the United Nations Association Westminster Young Professionals and co-founder of the environmental initiative The Conservation Project. Harry is also a passionate conservationist and humanitarian. 

In 2015, our planet witnessed one of the worst environmental crimes in history, the burning and incineration of the Indonesian rainforest perpetrated allegedly by palm oil companies. It led to the desecration of millions of acres of pristine tropical forest, over 500,000 people (including children) becoming hospitalised with respiratory problems, the premature deaths of over 100,000 people and the incineration of hundreds of critically endangered orangutans. [1] It was perhaps an Ecocide, or a genocide of an entire ecosystem.
Today, the criminal destruction to our natural world continues and although companies and individuals can be held responsible for a variety of environmental harms, many incidents do not result in compensation or prosecution …