Natural Capital or another corporate carve up?

Natural Capital or another corporate carve up?

Date: 23 November 2015

Today and tomorrow, Edinburgh is hosting the World Forum on Natural Capital.

The conference is premised on the belief that financial markets can help protect limited natural resources, but campaigners say it will simply lead to speculators trading environmental ‘services’ for profit.

Previous attempts to create markets in forests and carbon have failed to prevent deforestation or reduce carbon emissions, and financial speculation on commodities has caused price spikes in basic food staples, the campaigners warn.

Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now said today:

“The world has yet to recover from the devastating impacts of an economic crisis caused by financial markets, and yet those same markets are still being promoted as the solution to the various environmental crises we’re facing. We urgently need to rein those markets in and yet here is a conference looking to expand them.

“Vital resources like air, water and soil should be protected as commons property that benefit all of humanity.  Pricing these common resources on which people depend for their survival leaves all of us more exposed to the forces of the global economy, and decisions about whether or not to protect them become a matter of accounting.”

Global Justice Now has also co-signed an open letter from a number of different organisations that accuses the conference of greenwashing the activities of a series of controversial companies including Dow Chemical and Nestlé.

Photo from the 2013 protest at the first Natural Capital conference in Edinburgh.