EARLY DAY MOTION 136
ABColombia is concerned by the grave environmental and health impacts that the Carbones de Cerrejon open-pit coal mine in Colombia and the Antapaccay-Coroccohuayco mine in Peru are having on local communities. Both of these mines are owned by British-registered multinational company, Glencore. Aside from negative the socio-cultural and environmental impacts occurring, also worrying is the fact that Glencore is now suing the Colombian Government, pursuant to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Mechanism clause.
Join ABColombia in requesting that the UK Government bilaterally end the Colombia-UK Bilateral Investment Treaty and support a new UK law on Business, Human Rights and the Environment in order to protect those communities being harmed by extractive mining projects.
You can help by sending the following letter to your local MP. All you need to do is visit writetothem.com to find out who your MP is, press “Send a Message“ and paste the following, making sure to sign your name and fill in the rest of your details. Here is the standard letter.
That this House expresses concerns regarding the environmental and health impacts of the Carbones de Cerrejón open-pit coalmine in Colombia and the Antapaccay-Coroccohuayco mine, Espinar, Peru both owned by British registered multinational Glencore Plc.; notes that eight UN Special Rapporteurs called for a halt to Cerrejón’s mining operations because of health and environmental concerns; highlights the specific concerns of the Colombian Wayuu Indigenous Peoples and the UN Special Rapporteurs regarding contamination of the air, water and vegetation, irreversible biodiversity loss, and damage to the globally important dry forest ecosystem; expresses its concern regarding documented child malnutrition in communities near the Cerrejón mine; further highlights Indigenous Peoples’ concerns regarding the beyond permissible levels of heavy metals in Espinar; highlights reports that the information needed to comply with informed consent under ILO Convention 169 for the Espinar mine’s expansion is not available to communities; notes that Glencore is suing the Colombian Government pursuant to the Investor–State Dispute Settlement Mechanism clause within an applicable trade agreement challenging a Colombian High Court decision upholding the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples in relation to the Bruno Stream (Arroyo Bruno); calls on the UK Government to join other governments which do not include an Investor State Dispute Settlement Mechanism provision in their trade agreements thereby preventing companies from suing governments over climate policies; further calls on the UK to adopt a Business, Human Rights and Environment Act to protect communities harmed by mining linked to UK companies and their supply chains.
Glencore has sought to undermine the law in a variety of ways with recent convictions for corruption in various African and Latin American countries, to failing to implement laws and High Court rulings in Colombia and Peru. This demonstrates Glencore’s lack of willingness to protect indigenous rights, protect the environment and access to water, and comply with the law.
Disproportionate investor protections included in international trading and investment agreements have been shown to have a “regulatory chill”. on policy changes to protect human rights and to address climate change. International investor protections, like the investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) mechanism generally place enforceable obligations only on states, meaning that investors can win cases even if they have violated domestic law or other international norms. The awards are disproportionate, amounting to millions of dollars, all carried out in secret tribunals. Many European governments have pulled out of the Energy Charter because of the risk of being sued for climate policy changes under ISDS. We are asking the UK to bilaterally end the Colombia-UK Bilateral Investment Agreement and support a new UK law on Business Human Rights and the Environment in order to protect communities harmed by mining linked to UK companies and their supply chains.