GENEVA/LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - The UK and French governments are set to join a global initiative that will require oil and mining firms to comply with new disclosure measures aimed at reducing corruption, sources involved in the process said on Wednesday.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has stakeholders in the public and private sectors and requires resource companies to disclose payments made to governments.
EITI terms are not legally binding, but member countries that fall short of requirements can be suspended from the process, leading to political embarrassment.
Britain, currently chairing the Group of Eight major economies and home to resource firms such as Rio Tinto and BP, has said that transparency will be one of the focus areas for the G8 summit in June.
'They are joining for practice-what-you-preach reasons. It's hard to tell countries to do EITI when you're not doing it yourself,' one of the sources said.
Global pressure to increase transparency in mining and resources has been growing, and the United States has already passed regulations that require U.S.-registered companies to disclose payments made to governments for access to resources.
The American Petroleum Institute opposed the U.S. measures and is challenging the regulations in the U.S. appeals court.
The EITI, supported by the World Bank as well as resource-rich countries such as oil producer Nigeria, agreed to a new global transparency standard at a meeting in Sydney on Wednesday.
This aims to strengthen reporting standards by breaking down data by payment type, project and company.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and William James; additional reporting by Clara Ferreira Marques; editing by Jane Baird) Keywords: TRANSPARENCY COMMODITIES
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