"Environmental Due Diligence in EU Law: Considerations for Designing EU (Secondary) Legislation", June 2021
The debate on sustainability related corporate due diligence obligations in global value chains has recently gained considerable momentum, in particular at EU level. However, so far, it has been dominated by the focus on human rights due diligence. By contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to the specifics of a stand-alone environmental due diligence obligation. In this respect, the main challenge remains to define a substantive normative environmental standard (“material scope”), which the due diligence obligation aims to promote.
This paper examines how environmental due diligence can be designed and integrated in EU legislation applicable to undertakings in the European Union. It provides an overview of conceivable concepts for designing environmental due diligence’s “material scope”. Namely, these include a positive and a negative general clause and various ways of referencing substantive environmental norms (international environmental agreements, local law at the “place of effect”, home state law, and soft law). Subsequently the paper examines how the issue has been solved in the Draft for a Directive on Corporate Due Diligence and Corporate Accountability adopted by the European Parliament on March 10th, 2021: The relevant provision can be categorized as a combination of referencing international (hard and soft) law instruments and EU environmental norms that shall be listed in an annex. This legislative approach represents a significant shift from what was proposed by the Rapporteur in the original draft report (a negative general clause). However, the paper suggests to combine both approaches rather than choosing one of them...
The EU's directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence could represent a landmark step forward, but the proposal contains significant flaws which risk preventing its urgently-needed positive impact for people, planet and climate. We join 220+ organisations calling for an effective law.
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The briefing addresses shortcomings in the parts of the proposal that relate to corporate governance, directors’ obligations and the responsibilities of the financial sector and makes recommendations for appropriate changes.
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DIHR examines foundational aspects such as personal and material scope, business relationships and the scope of due diligence across the value chain, use of contractual assurances as well as enforcement and liability. It then goes on to consider each element of the due diligence obligation.
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Letter sent to President von der Leyen and Commissioners Breton and Reynders by the International Labour Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
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On International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, over 60 civil society organisations sent an open letter to European Commissioners, Members of Parliament, and Council of the European Union Representatives, urging them to make the forthcoming corporate human rights and environmental due diligence law gender-responsive.
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The note provides recommendations in light of the European Parliament's resolution of 10 March 2021 on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability, focusing in particular on issues connected with the translation of human rights due diligence into a binding legal standard, and on corporate accountability and remedy.
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The European Commission hold a virtual exchange with three business & human rights advocates from the Global South as part of a public consultation for the proposed corporate human rights and environmental due diligence law
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