1.5m children at risk
A significant side of the human tragedy resulting from the conflict in Ukraine is the risk of trafficking of refugees into forced labour, particularly children. The United Nations children’s agency Unicef has warned
of its heightened concerns as the number of displaced people grows, including more than 1.5 million children who have fled Ukraine with or without their families in the past few weeks. Unicef officials point out that the massive displacement and refugee flows could lead to a significant spike in trafficking and a child protection crisis. Displaced children are at particular risk of being separated from family members putting them at further risk of exploitation.
Unicef and the UN High Commission on Refugees have been urging other eastern European destination countries to strengthen child protection screenings at border crossings, and for better coordination between national governments and child protection agencies to monitor the flow of at-risk groups.
Is inset the future?
Carbon insetting has emerged as a key tool in the getting to net zero toolbox and the International Platform for Insetting
has launched a new practical guide that has consolidated over a decade’s worth of experience from corporate members, including Kering, Chanel and H+M. Insetting involves the creation of carbon removals and emissions reductions in supply chains, primarily through nature-based solutions such as agroforestry, reforestation, regenerative agriculture and other activity, including clean energy projects, that reduce pressure on natural resources.
The new guide is designed to provide land dependent companies with tools to help take effective action against climate change and nature loss in their value chains and transform operations to support healthy ecosystems and resilient growing communities to secure raw material supply. It highlights five examples of how to scale insetting as a strategic corporate practice.
Nature risk disclosure
The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure has launched the first version of its framework
for companies designed to help them report on nature-related risk. The taskforce was launched in 2020 to build on the work of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, focusing on ensuring that nature-related risks and opportunities are effectively understood and communicated by companies to the financial community. The beta version framework, which will be developed and updated over the coming 18 months, consists of three main components.
Firstly, it summarises nature-based risks concepts and definitions for companies and their stakeholders. Second it has a series of disclosure recommendations that align with the climate disclosures taskforce’s reporting framework. And thirdly it has guidance as to how to incorporate nature into company risk management processes. The taskforce is made up of 34 senior figures from companies, financial institutions and market intermediaries from around the world, with a combined market capitalisation of more than $3.1tn, across 180 countries. The initial framework is designed to provoke dialogue across market participants about how best to assess and respond to nature-related risks ahead of a release of a final recommendations launch in September 2023.
Shell directors in court
Giving a taste of what might be to come for some companies with significant fossil fuel exposure, the directors of energy giant Shell are being sued by activist shareholders for failing to appropriately prepare the company for a transition to net zero. Environmental law charity ClientEarth
has raised an action claiming that Shell’s directors are personally liable for implementing strategy that’s in line with the Paris climate agreement, and not doing so is a breach, ClientEarth contends, of their duties under the UK’s Companies Act. The action is the first of its kind and is based on, ClientEarth says, the company’s best interests if its directors have not properly taken into account the risks of climate change to the business.