CAFOD welcomes UK commitment to EITI, but binding transparency rules remain the top priority for G8
CAFOD has welcomed the UK’s decision to work towards the voluntary Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
But the Prime Minister must now push ahead with swift legal implementation of Europe-wide Directives on accountancy and transparency, and use his leadership of the G8 to urge other major countries to adopt mandatory reporting standards.
Today's announcement by the government came as officials, campaigners and oil, gas and mining executives gathered for the opening of the sixth EITI Global Conference taking place in Sydney, Australia this week.
Speaking from Sydney, our private sector analyst Anne Lindsay said:
“The UK's move is a welcome step, which reflects the growing interest across the world in ensuring transparency about how finite natural resources are being used and what is being paid for them. Now that the UK and France have joined the US and Norway in backing the EITI, the pressure is on other resource-rich countries to follow suit.
"As more countries sign up, we must also reflect on how the EITI can be improved. The new model agreed in Sydney this week includes helpful new elements such as contract transparency and beneficial ownership, although these are not yet a required part of the standard.
“But most importantly, after ten years of EITI, it should now be clear to all that this initiative needs to be complemented by mandatory reporting requirements for companies, such as the Dodd-Frank Act in the US. So while today's announcement is a welcome step, even more important for transparency and accountability in oil, gas and mining are the newly agreed reforms to the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives.
“The priority for action by G8 governments is to match these important changes in law. Legal reporting requirements in countries such as Canada and Australia with significant extractive industries would help to create a truly global standard of country-by-country and project-by-project disclosure. This would also help citizens in countries ranging from Colombia to Cambodia to get the information they need about what the extractive industries are doing in their communities.”