Webinar on Equator Principles IV: A Human Rights Perspective
On July 23, 2019, the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and the Investors & Indigenous Peoples Working Group (IIPWG) co-hosted a webinar on the human rights aspects of the draft Equator Principles IV (EP4).
The Equator Principles (EPs) are a social and environmental risk management framework adopted by banks and other financial institutions and are intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence and monitoring to support responsible risk decision-making, primarily for project finance. On June 24, 2019, the Equator Principles Association (EPA) released the latest draft of the EPs (draft EP4) for public review and feedback. The controversy surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) catalyzed the latest revision process. At the time, 13 of the 17 banks that financed DAPL were signatories to the EPs.
In its current form, the EP4 draft fails to meet the standards laid out by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and poses specific and significant risks to the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as laid out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The goal of the webinar was to provide participants with (1) an overview of the human rights aspects of EP4 in particular regarding Indigenous Peoples, including gaps and recommendations for addressing those gaps, and (2) ready-made opportunities for investors to submit feedback on the EP4 draft and coordinate collective advocacy toward stronger standards.
The webinar featured expert speakers Anita Ramasastry, Member of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights and Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law, and Carla Fredericks, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School and Director of First Peoples Worldwide.
Steven Heim from Boston Common Assessment Management moderated the webinar and Delaney Greig from SHARE served as a lead discussant.
The Investor Alliance is coordinating an investor submission to the EP4 process on key recommendations for further alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as direct outreach to EP signatories on those recommendations.
To become involved in these efforts or learn more, please contact Sara Blackwell, Associate Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.