With no answers provided to UCS and SGR's questions and over 150 partner organizations signed on, CRC sent this initial communication to RELX, requesting answers to additional questions within 40 days. It contains an explanatory complaint submitted to the The Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council, detailing the science-based reasoning for positing company negligence of UNGP human rights obligations and the company risking complicity in human rights harms.
• Elsevier/RELX oil and gas partners and customers are not reducing production in line with a just Net Zero Transition.
• Elsevier/RELX serves fossil fuels expansion in the knowledge that they are facilitating the continued burning of fossil fuels.
• Elsevier/RELX must comply with its own responsibilities regarding the fossil fuel industry’s climate-related human rights impacts. There is a serious risk that Elsevier/RELX is failing to comply with its responsibilities.
Elsevier has spent decades helping the fossil fuel industry accelerate discoveries. With the UN's Human Rights Council resolution 48/13 unequivocally recognizing the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment for all people, scientists initiated a dialogue about its continued engagement in this activity in light of the human rights implications.
—UN investigators, in a letter delivered to Aramco and various non-fossil fuel companies that are still facilitating new fossil fuel projects. June 23, 2023.
—D., Elsevier journal editor, on introducing constraints on content based on human rights concerns. October 10, 2023.
October 2022 / SUMMARY
Union of Concerned Scientists and Scientists for Global Responsibility launch a scientist-driven petition regarding company support for fossil fuel expansion, activity inconsistent with a 1.5°C warming and a just transition.
April 2023 / SUMMARY
April 2022 / SUMMARY
Márcia Balisciano, replying for the CEOs, provides a response that does not signal an end to this activity, or alignment with the IPCC and IEA's net zero pathways.
September 2023 / SUMMARY
Rebuttals refute the accuracy of company claims and inconsistency with RELX's Code of Ethics. 4 questions are submitted pertaining to ending support of fossil fuel expansion and misinformation.
October 2023 / SUMMARY
October 2023 / SUMMARY
Márcia Balisciano, replying for the CEOs, again neglects to signal an end to activity associated with human rights harms.
November 2023 / SUMMARY
Given human rights concerns, UCS and SGR offer an extension for having their questions answered and announce the initiation of a UNGP grievance mechanism.
RELX pledges to "consider the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights" in all [its] activities" and has committed to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security.” International human rights law requires an effective remedy where such rights or freedoms have been violated.
As noted in an IPCC special report, “climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C.” With RELX/Elsevier providing technological and geographic guidance for the fossil fuel industry majors to develop new resources that are misaligned with any safe warming target, Elsevier has notably not been adhering to its commitment to "discontinuing activities with potentially adverse climate change-related human rights impacts." It is the right of all stakeholders to seek remedy.