In this episode of Occupied Thoughts, FMEP’s Lara Friedman speaks to international legal expert in business and human rights Tara Van Ho about the current controversy involving the Chicago-based financial services company Morningstar Inc. and its subsidiary Sustainalytics, over how it deals with Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories. Specifically, the podcast explores Morningstar’s recently adopted policy changes with respect to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in the context of Israel, and the questions these new policies raise both about the company’s basic competence with respect to human rights in ESG research, analysis, and recommendations, and about the broader implications for the future of business and human rights work writ large.
Tara Van Ho is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex (U.K.). As Co-Director of the Essex Business and Human Rights Project, she advises governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations on the impacts of investment laws and treaties on human rights, particularly in post-conflict situations. She has a J.D. from Cincinnati, and an LL.M. in international human rights law, and a Ph.D. in Law, both from Essex.
Follow here at:
- @TaraVanHo – Twitter
- @firstname.lastname@example.org – Mastodon
Resources cited in this podcast
- 10/31/22 press release from Morningstar: Morningstar Announces Steps to Address Anti-Israel Bias Concerns in ESG Research
- Tara Van Ho Twitter thread 11/2/22 on Morningstar/Sustainalytics (Unrolled version here)
- UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): OHCHR and business and human rights
- UN-OHCHR 11/29/21: Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights — Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework
Previous FMEP podcast on a related topic:
11/21/22: Free Speech & Palestinian Rights – Both Weapons & Targets in the Battle Against ESG, ft FMEP’s Lara Friedman in conversation with internationally-acclaimed documentary filmmaker Julia Bacha about the growing campaign against “woke capitalism,” and specifically the attacks on what is known as ESG – shorthand for the movement to take environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into account in investing.