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You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2003 / 0602g8

0602g8

media advisory
EVIAN (FRANCE), 2 June 2003

G8 declaration on multinationals puts bad business first

The G8 today made a new declaration to foster growth and promote a responsible market economy [1]. The declaration covers three areas:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility – promoting corporate voluntarism [2].
  • Corruption and transparency – piloting ‘on a voluntary basis an intensified approach to transparency’ of the oil, gas and mining industries.
  • Corporate governance – proposing strengthening transparency and accountability of companies to shareholders (but, significantly, not to anyone else affected by their activities).

Friends of the Earth International corporates campaigner Matt Phillips said:
“The oil industry have not voluntarily stopped spilling oil, operating in repressive regimes or exploiting ever more sources of fossil fuels resulting in climate change. As with so many other multinationals, they are getting away with social and environmental degradation. These eight leaders are more responsible than anyone for the actions of their multinationals. Yet they are prepared to go no further than promoting failed corporate voluntarism. This declaration is a meaningless piece of spin from eight leaders more interested in the interests of multinationals than people and the environment.”

CONTACTS
in Evian - Matt Phillips + 44 7817 314 706

NOTES:

[1] The plan is called: “Fostering Growth and Promoting a Responsible
Market Economy” and is backed by a further action plan called “Fighting Corruption and Improving Transparency”.

[2] The G8 state:
“We will work with interested countries on initiatives that support sustainable economic growth, including the creation of an environment in which business can act responsibly. We also welcome voluntary initiatives taken by companies that promote corporate social and environmental responsibility, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the UN Global Compact principles consistent with their economic interest. We encourage companies to work with other parties to complement and foster the implementation of existing instruments, such as the OECD guidelines and the ILO 1998 Declarations on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.”.
This represents a climbdown from the agreement these governments reached in

 

 

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