Published 9 October 2019
Any petroleum project is likely to have environmental impacts which need to be assessed by experts before being implemented so that proper strategies for prevention, control and mitigation of those impacts are adopted. It is acknowledged that the right to a healthy environment is a human right in itself. Moreover, the right to access to information concerning environmental impacts is one of the main overlaps between environmental impact assessment and human rights. The duty to carry out environmental impact assessment is mainly imposed on a transnational company through national legislation of the host country in which the company is operating. Such national legislation is formulated under the influence of international environmental and human rights agreements and judicial decisions. The right of host countries to upgrade national environmental laws is supported by the provisions of international investment agreements and the proceedings of international investor-state arbitral tribunals. Furthermore, some international human rights guidelines require a transnational company to protect human rights beyond the national laws of the country in which it is operating. The need to follow such human rights guidelines is reinforced by the transnational company's contractual commitments to financial institutions, corporate social responsibility, monitoring of some home countries over the operations of their companies overseas, and judicial decisions.
This paper will be part of the OGEL Special Issue on "Social Licence to Operate (SLO) in the Extractive and Energy Sectors". More information here www.ogel.org/news.asp?key=571