Vigeo Eiris silent on its Moroccan approach to Western Sahara
acwa_30.11.2016_609.jpg

The company which has certified Moroccan energy projects in occupied Western Sahara applies an ever stronger Moroccan terminology on the Western Sahara issue than before. WSRW still seeks answers to its questions.
Published: 14.02 - 2017 21:34Printer version    
Above: A group of Saharawis on 30 November 2016 were denied access to a "public consultation" on Moroccan-Saudi energy projects in the occupied Western Sahara. International investors such as the EU and national development banks go to great lengths to avoid funding these programmes, but Vigeo Eiris has still made sure the projects get so-called "green bond" certification.

On 23 December 2016, Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) wrote that the UK-French company Vigeo Eiris had certified the bonds needed to finance Moroccan energy projects in occupied Western Sahara.

That business is controversial, as it violates international law and strengthens the Moroccan ties to the occupied territory. WSRW in November wrote a report about the industry.

Vigeo Eiris had in a letter to WSRW on 18 December 2016 not only confirmed the certification, but also defended it, applying an approach and terminology to the conflict similar to Morocco's. WSRW responded on 23 December 2016 with a letter, requesting further information.

That letter, of 23 December 2016, has still not been responded to by Vigeo Eiris.

What did happen, however, is that Vigeo Eiris has separately sent a letter to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in which it defends its operations.

In that letter, the company refers to the territory of Western Sahara as “region of Sahara” which is a deeply Moroccan way of labelling the territory. Vigeo Eiris has not responded to questions on the seeking on consent of the Saharawi people, our questions on international law, or why it presents Western Sahara as part of Morocco on maps on its website. The mail it sent Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, in short, does nothing to address the concerns sent from WSRW to Vigeo Eiris on 23 December 2016.

The letter is co-signed by the Vigeo Eiris methods director who is also on the board of the state Moroccan body CESE which plays a key role in the Moroccan government's business approach to Western Sahara.

WSRW on 14 February 2017 sent a new letter to Vigeo Eiris, in which it laments the continued Moroccan representation of the territory and the conflict, urging the company to respond to the questions asked.

"As a very minimum, and particularly after the email exchange we’ve already had, one  would have expected Vigeo Eiris to apply the United Nations terminology to the territory itself", WSRW comments in the new letter to the company.

Financial institutions which have previously relied on advice from Eiris before the merger with Vigeo will now be advised by WSRW to reconsider the independence and competence on issues of human rights and international law of the merged company.

"Vigeo Eiris not only consistently approaches the territory with a Moroccan narrative, but also secures finances for projects that violate international law. Vigeo Eiris has placed itself in a situation where it has lost credibility in matters of human rights and international law",  WSRW chair Joanna Allan, told.

"In the past, WSRW has recommended Eiris as a supplier of ethical advice to institutional investors in Europe. Our recommendation today, after Eiris's merger with Vigeo, is the opposite. The statements by Vigeo Eiris on the matter of Western Sahara illustrates a company poorly advised on international law and human rights, not taking its own human rights responsibilities seriously. In addition, it is deeply concerning that it seems to not undertake proper due diligence on its own activities, that it secures finances for projects that are obviously set up in violation of international law and that it fails to answer questions from civil society", Allan said.

WSRW also sent  a letter today a letter to Clean Bonds Initiative. This letter follows an earlier letter from WSRW to CBI on 19 January 2017.

    

Top
News:

15.02 - 2017 / 15.02 - 2017Glencore steps up oil search offshore occupied Western Sahara
14.02 - 2017 / 14.02 - 2017Vigeo Eiris silent on its Moroccan approach to Western Sahara
13.02 - 2017 / 12.02 - 2017Siemens dodges questions on Saharawi consent
10.02 - 2017 / 09.02 - 2017This cargo from occupied Western Sahara is now to arrive France
09.02 - 2017 / 09.02 - 2017Danish company stops salt imports from Western Sahara
02.02 - 2017 / 02.02 - 2017EU looks to avoid energy imports from Western Sahara
25.01 - 2017 / 25.01 - 2017Key Bay unloaded all cargo in Fécamp, France
24.01 - 2017 / 24.01 - 2017Here is the Key Bay inside the port of Fécamp
23.01 - 2017 / 23.01 - 2017Why the Key Bay imports are not in accordance with EU law
22.01 - 2017 / 22.01 - 2017Key Bay just outside of port of Fécamp
18.01 - 2017 / 18.01 - 2017Key Bay to arrive in France while complaints to be filed
14.01 - 2017 / 14.01 - 2017Key Bay appears at Las Palmas horizon
14.01 - 2017 / 13.01 - 2017Key Bay is now heading to Las Palmas
07.01 - 2017 / 07.01 - 2017Fresh images: Key Bay inside the port
06.01 - 2017 / 06.01 - 2017Here is the vessel that will transport fish oil to the EU
06.01 - 2017 / 06.01 - 2017First ship to challenge EU Court ruling on occupied Western Sahara
04.01 - 2017 / 04.01 - 2017Chinese Geron Energy might take over block in occupied Western Sahara
25.12 - 2016 / 25.12 - 2016Kosmos Energy asked by OECD contact point to quote correctly
23.12 - 2016 / 23.12 - 2016WSRW concerned: Vigeo Eiris greenwashes dirty energy on occupied land
22.12 - 2016 / 22.12 - 2016Reaction from Polisario on EU-Morocco court case




EN ES FR DE AR

Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
Report: COP22 controversy - Moroccan green energy used for plunder

tn_poweringplunder_eng_610.jpg

At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch

tn_sjovik_demo_610.jpg

Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
The Western Sahara oil curse

tn_san_leon_protest_camps_8_august_2015_610x200.jpg

Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!

tn_court_photo_gdeim_izik_610.jpg

On 17 February 2013, in a mockery of justice, a Moroccan military court condemned 25 Saharawi citizens to shockingly tough prison sentences. Help us to release the Gdeim Izik 25.

WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006


Register for our English newsletter:









These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy