Open letter: 119 experts call to protect nature from the “nature positive economy”

119 experts from academia and civil society have signed an open letter highlighting their concerns about and rejection of the so-called “nature positive economy”, currently being promoted by the World Economic Forum, the WWF, some big lobbies and the European Commission amongst others, ahead of the COP15.

While its name sounds innocuous and cheerful enough, the nature positive economy promotes an alleged monetary valuation of nature and the creation of biodiversity offset markets, aka markets trading permits to destroy biodiversity, whose lack of environmental integrity and risks for human rights have been amply documented.

What is urgently needed to address the 6th mass extinction of species is for rich countries to change their lifestyles and curb their destruction, not this doomed attempt at financialising nature’s destruction.

While many people have heard about the COP27 starting on 6 November 2022, most are unaware that another COP will take place this December, the COP15, which is a biodiversity COP, while COP27 is a climate COP. This forthcoming COP15 is absolutely crucial, as it could see the unveiling of an international market to trade permits to trade biodiversity, just as the Paris Agreement included little publicized articles foreseeing the creation of new international carbon markets.

Yet, just as Kyoto carbon offset markets have been a documented failure, thereby contributing to our failure to mitigate climate change, financialising the destruction of biodiversity would most likely fail to address critical loss of biodiversity. This is why we believe that this false solution aimed at maintaining the status quo for rich countries and at creating a new asset class for the financial sector must be rejected.

Download letter

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