Campaigner interrupts key note speech by Nick Clegg
On the opening day of the Rio+20 summit yesterday, a UK campaigner interrupted a key note speech by Nick Clegg, UK Deputy Prime Minister, at a high level meeting on natural capital.
Sarah Reader said afterwards:
I interrupted the meeting because the UK’s approach to the ‘green economy’ is a smoke screen for pushing the profit of multinational corporations, bankers and the financial industry. Privatising nature, which is essentially what this meeting is about, will do nothing to protect the environment and will take control of the land, air and water away from the world’s poorest people who depend on it for their livelihoods.”
Note to editors
1. The ‘High-level Dialogue on Natural Capital’ was hosted by the UK Government and the World Bank yesterday at 13:00 Rio de Janeiro time. The meeting was to promote the Natural Capital Declaration, signed by the CEOs of 37 major financial sector companies on 16 June. The declaration calls for the integration of ‘natural capital’ into financial products and services. It advocates the financial valuation of unpriced natural resources like water and biodiversity and the creation of ‘risk management tools’ for natural capital, potentially opening the door to financial speculation. The declaration calls on governments to incentivise companies that integrate the value of ‘ecosystem services’ into their business model.
3. The World Development Movement launched the ‘Great Nature Sale’ on ebay yesterday, listing iconic natural sites such as the Amazon rainforest and the Lake District to demonstrate that ‘natural capital’ valuation could lead to ecosystems being sold of to the highest bidder.
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Green economy blog
Regular updates from our campaigners on issues around the green economy, financialisation and the Rio+20 conference.
The great nature sale
Discussions about the green economy are being captured by rich country governments and corporate interests. Their proposals include allowing speculators to bet on the price of water, selling off land that indigenous people and small-scale farmers have used for generations and creating new financial instruments linked to the survival of endangered species.
Want to know more?
Our briefing, Rio+20 summit: Whose green economy?, explains what is being proposed at Rio, the corporate plan for the future of our planet, and the sustainable alternatives being proposed by social movements and civil society in the global south.