PWYP UK Campaign Highlights 2011 - 2012

Source: PWYP UK
Date: 20 Dec 2012


February 2011 

  • PWYP welcomes UK Government support for “publish what you pay” rules: Osborne tells G20 finance ministers that the UK Government is keen to “ensure some of the world's poorest benefit from the wealth that lies in the ground beneath them  … Vince Cable and I will be arguing for a European agreement that matches the new standards just set in the US [ie 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1504].”  

June 2011

  • Teatime for Change in Westminster: Mass lobby of 131 MPs by international development agencies on aid, tax and transparency issues calls for country-by-country reporting by companies.

July 2011 

  • UK PM Cameron urges EU rules equivalent to Dodd-Frank 1504: “[T]he US has gone a step further, introducing legally binding measures to require oil, gas and mining companies to publish key financial information for each country and project they work on. And I’m calling on Europe to do the same.  We want to disclose the payments our companies make to your governments so you can hold your governments to account for the money they receive.”

October 2011 

  • EU Commission proposes revisions to Accounting and Transparency Directives: Proposals require EU-listed and large EU-based unlisted companies to report payments to governments country by country and project by project.

December 2011 

  • PWYP UK members issue detailed advocacy briefing on EC proposals: While welcoming the proposals, the briefing highlights critical details that need to be strengthened to make the revised Directives fit for purpose. The briefing becomes the basic document for PWYP’s EU-wide advocacy on the proposals.

January 2012 

  • PWYP & UK All-Party Parliamentary Groups’ panel discussion on transparency in the extractive industries: APPGs on International Corporate Responsibility and the Great Lakes Region of Africa, with PWYP, host panel on transparency in the extractive industries. Speakers from BP, Global Witness and Revenue Watch. 
  • Arlene McCarthy MEP meets PWYP African campaigners and pledges support: The European Parliament’s rapporteur for the EU Transparency Directive meets with PWYP campaigners from Chad, Ghana and Niger in Brussels.
  • PWYP UK coalition meeting with Business Minster Davey.

February 2012 

  • Global Witness reveals BP multi-million-dollar payments into dubious Angolan “social projects”:  BP implicated in US$110 million payment for “social projects” eg the apparently nonexistent “Sonangol Research and Technology Center”.
  • Activists gather outside BIS: PWYP activists from CAFOD, ONE and Tearfund gather at the Business Ministry in London to demonstrate support for extractive sector transparency. 
  • Economist: “Extracting oil, burying data”: “Energy companies are fighting efforts to reveal payments to governments … going to court to keep such deals hidden could yet become a public-relations disaster.”

March-April 2012 

  • European activists lobby MEPs and Council Presidency Demark in Brussels: Tearfund, with Micah Challenge International, brings 30 campaigners from five European countries to Brussels to lobby for strong EU transparency rules.
  • PWYP UK members meet with Business Minister Lamb and extractive companies: Several roundtable meetings with companies at BIS to discuss country- and project-level reporting.  Companies propose “level-of-government” reporting in place of project level, and UK appears to favour this formula.
  • Ex-BP CEO (Lord) John Browne op-ed in Financial Times: “Europe must enforce … transparency.”
  • FT editorial “follow the money”: “The moral case for transparency is that it is necessary – if not sufficient – to stop the theft and waste that devastates poor, resource-rich countries.”

May 2012 

  • PWYP UK members mobilise public: Nearly 150,000 supporters of CAFOD, Christian Aid, ONE and Tearfund have contacted the UK Government or a UK MEP, including via public petitions, calling for an effective EU extractive industry reporting regime.
  • Global Witness reveals Shell’s $1.1 billion payment linked to convicted Nigerian money-launderer: “[T]he terms of the OPL 245 deal … were previously undisclosed in any detail by the companies … Malabu [Oil and Gas] was promised precisely the same amount that ENI and Shell jointly agreed to pay the government. Malabu … is widely reported to be controlled by controversial Abacha-era oil minister Dan Etete, who has a 2007 conviction for money-laundering in France.”

June 2012

  • PWYP Financial Times letter: “Project-by-project reporting is vital for transparency.”

August 2012 

  • US Securities and Exchange Commission adopts strong disclosure rules for US-listed extractive companies: EITI Chair Clare Short, among others, urges EU to align rules with US standards “so that companies don’t have one set of reports under the US rules and another set under the EU rules”.
  • FT “sunshine rules” editorial: “The EU must follow [the US SEC] … with equally comprehensive rules.”

September 2012 

  • MEPs vote for strong disclosure rules – a key moment says Arlene McCarthy MEP: PWYP welcomes EP Legal Affairs Committee vote. Arlene McCarthy: “This is a key moment in the global drive for greater transparency … putting us on track to create strong global transparency standards.”
  • PWYP UK members meet with new Business Minister Swinson and extractive companies: A further roundtable at BIS. Companies far more muted following SEC and MEP votes. BHP Billiton says off the record it accepts the US rules and will comply with similar EU rules. 

October 2012 

  • UK Deputy PM Clegg and BIS Minster Swinson back tough EU reporting rules after ONE meeting: PWYP welcomes UK Government announcement, following meeting between Clegg, Swinson and ONE founder Bono.
  • PWYP UK members meet with Minister Swinson.
  • EU member states / Council change stance and now agree to project-by-project reporting. 

November 2012 

  • PM Cameron repeats call for EU disclosure rules to match Dodd-Frank: “The US has introduced legally binding measures to require oil, gas and mining companies to publish key financial information for each country and project they work on. And I want Europe to do the same.” 
  • PWYP UK members meet Treasury Minister Gauke. 
  • PWYP and Friends of the Earth Europe transparency advert in FT Europe: PWYP UK members much involved in joint advert with Friends of the Earth Europe published in Financial Times Europe edition, calling on EU to seize historic opportunity to pass effective transparency laws for oil, gas, mining and logging companies. 

December 2012 

  • EU member states agree to a €100,000 materiality threshold for reporting payments.
  • PWYP UK writes to Minister Swinson urging acceptance of latest European Parliament compromise proposals: Modified project definition, no exemptions, stronger anti-evasion language.