Stop the financialization of nature

Report on the strategy meeting in Brussels, 6-7 Dec. 2012


One key approach of the Green Economy proposal is the financialization of nature: the pricing of nature and the application of market mechanisms for profit. A larger audience and policy makers lack information on these ongoing processes and concepts. This is the background of a decision taken at the Vienna conference on “Socio-ecological transformation and energy policy in Latin America and Europe” to make the financialization of nature as one of the thematic focuses in the project “Socio-ecological Transformation (Energy)”. See also website of Vienna conference and particularly on the financialization of nature the articles by Antonio Tricarico and by Nick Hildyard in the conference reader.

The meeting:

Representatives from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and civil society organisations working on financialization of nature met with the aim of: (1) initiating a longer term working cooperation that aims at strengthening the struggles against financialization of nature; (2) developing a common strategy and working approach, also for effective media work; (3) defining the cooperation with the actors in Europe and the World.

Participants presented an overview of the state of financialization of nature in Asia, Latin America and Europe, as well as an overview of the work of the Stop the European Emissions Trading Scheme campaign, the Financialization of Nature Network and Die Linke’s Plan B process.

Key issues discussed included: What do we mean by financialization of nature? What is the scope we are talking about and what is new? What is the link between extractivism and financialization? How do we explain the boom in infrastructure? What is Europe’s role in promoting financialization and what is the link to over-accumulation? It was agreed that we lack an overarching text that brings together all the different aspects of financialization in popular and understandable language.

In the discussion about alternatives, issues raised included: What is the role of public finance? How to link this to the debates and practices around the commons? What do we mean by “enoughness” (or sufficiency) and how do we tackle the problem of consumerism? How do we guarantee and protect the gains made by communities? What sort of alliances can we have with universities, scientists, and researchers to help us build this “green and red” future? How do we link with and politicise campaigns resisting infrastructure?

The objective for 2013 is to work on understanding the dynamics of financialization of nature, to make the subject more known to the public, and to build capacities. To this end, the participants agreed on serveral activities to work on jointly between civil society groups and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

See also:

>> Website of Event