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25 Feb 2020

Global Witness

Global Witness briefing on why the EU needs to act to ensure companies are not harming people and planet

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It is time for the European Union to match its public commitments (UN 2030 agenda, the Paris climate agreement, and to become world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050) by acting swiftly to arrest the irreparable destruction and negative impacts that environmental and human rights abuses have on our planet...

Global Witness calls on the European Commission to [...] introduc[e] effective and robust legislation that establishes cross-sectoral mandatory human rights, environmental and governance due diligence obligations for all companies, including finance, operating the EU, including access to remedy for victims of corporate abuse and effective sanctions.

The political momentum is ripe for concrete action. The Commission study on ‘due diligence requirements through the supply chain’ clearly show an emerging consensus from companies and civil society that the EU needs to act... Given that there is a clear support for regulatory action from civil society and that a majority of businesses are recognising the value of enforceable EU rules, the Commission is now well placed to bring forward a legislative proposal this year.

In our briefing we outline the need for regulatory action and why the EU is uniquely placed to introduce a set of harmonised due diligence rules across all member states.