Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Capitalism fails to fix biodiversity loss

 A study of the economics of biodiversity loss sets out how the current model by which money flows from rich, developed nations into schemes to enhance and protect nature in poorer nations can exacerbate the problem. Rich countries "throwing money" at schemes designed to enhance biodiversity is ineffective.

Investment in activities like large-scale agriculture and resource extraction, it points out, continue to drive the destruction of natural habitats.

The gap, the researchers say, "between those who live with the environmental consequences of resource extraction and those who benefit from financing these developments", is widening.

"In 2019, 50 of the world's largest banks underwrote more than $2.6 trillion into industries known to be the drivers of biodiversity loss, an amount equivalent to Canada's gross domestic product," the report states.

The report calls for "a profound re-organisation of the global post-pandemic economy to prevent further harm to the planet". It recommends nothing less than a "change in our entire economic model".

 Market-driven schemes can do more harm than good. One study of a scheme in Costa Rica, which was designed to incentivise tree-planting, revealed that it had subsidised commercial forestry, resulting in more "plantation forests" of a single non-native tree species used in the production of wooden shipping pallets.

Nature: Throwing money at biodiversity schemes is ineffective - BBC News

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