'Nature Is Not for Sale' Forum Challenges Corporate Push to Financialize the World

Rejecting the push for the commodification and financialization of nature, an upcoming gathering is offering a counter-narrative to a corporate heavyweight-backed forum on “Natural Capital” that critics charge follows a “vicious paradigm of disaster capitalism.”

Backed by its headline sponsor of the Royal Bank of Scotland, recently under fire for backing mountaintop removal, the World Forum on Natural Capital will hold its inaugural conference in Edinburgh, Scotland from Nov 21-22.

Among the organizations heading to conference are BP, Shell, Nestle, Coca Cola and the Inter-American Development Bank, where attendees will talk about putting a price tag on “biodiversity and ecosystems, in order to manage these risks and opportunities and enable a better future for all.”

As organizers explain:

In an op-ed published in The Scotsman on Wednesday, Jonathan Hughes, conservation director at Scottish Wildlife Trust, which organized the forum, writes that “corporate giants are beginning to understand, and even embrace, nature conservation,” and, he continues,

But for years climate activists have charged that putting a price tag on nature is the wrong approach to protect the environment.

‘Once a price is put on nature, all of our common resources can be bought, sold and packaged.’To highlight why, a concurrent “counter forum,” entitled Nature Is Not for Sale, has been organized by the World Development Movement, Counter Balance, Re:Common and Carbon Trade Watch in Edinburgh, because, the groups say:

In 2010, when the UN climate talks were taking place in Cancun, Nnimmo Bassey, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, warned against “Commodifying Nature in an Age of Climate Change.” He wrote, in part:

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Delving further into why carbon markets don’t help the climate crisis, the agro-ecology-advocating groups GRAIN, ETC Group and La Via Campesina wrote earlier this month:

Watchdog group Food & Water Watch concluded in a recent report, “We cannot afford to bet the health of the environment or our access to water on the Wall Street casino.”