James Thornton, the chief executive of ClientEarth, will call for a ban on any new secret trade courts that allow companies to sue governments for imposing environmental regulations. He is giving a keynote speech at a conference attended by Michael Gove, the environment secretary, today. BRENDAN MONTAGUE reports
This budget season, and so a short perambulation around the vexed question of the national debt seems in order. As a nation we've been living with debt for more the 300 years now, since 1694 to be precise, when Scottish privateer William Paterson persuaded the government of the time that creating £1.2 million of IOUs would get them out of their spending difficulties.
The economies of whole islands in the Caribbean face ruin if the WTO, acting at the behest of US-owned multinationals, forces the EU to end preferential trade agreements with small-scale West Indian banana producers
Revenues obtained from the often illegal extraction and supply of commodities such as timber and diamonds are directly bankrolling corrupt regimes and armed insurgency groups, and fund the purchase of weapons and other contraband goods that perpetuate cycles of conflict.
Sometimes it’s good to take a peep at what the enemy is up to. I spent last weekend reading the New York Herald Tribune, and I’ll sometimes look at The Economist. Both these publications are excellent in their way – the Tribune is far superior in writing and information to The Times, for example – but essentially feed the greed of a business-minded readership anxious to figure out what is going on in the world, the better to profit from it.
Environmentalists held their breath in expectation of Gordon Brown's 'green' budget. Was it worth the wait? Miriam Kennet, a director of the Green Economics Institute, looks at where the Chancellor went awry...
School dinners by McDonald’s. Corporations taking countries to court because their environmental regulations are ‘too tough’. The BBC sold to Rupert Murdoch. Paul Kingsnorth explains why we should be very worried by what is about to go on behind the closed doors of Cancun.
Free trade. So benign sounding a phrase. A concept whose principles no reasonable person would challenge. Trouble is, free trade as we know it – free trade as it is pushed by those who will mass at Cancun, Mexico, in September – is far from free. Think about it. If it truly was free, would they put sanctions on those who don’t want to participate and use police to violently put down protests by those who oppose it? Free trade is really just a euphemism, like ‘peacekeeping’ or ‘forest management’, that hides a far uglier, more brutal reality. Free trade is a brand – Free Trade™, which sells a repackaged product no one in their right minds would buy if they knew what it really was.