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Wenonah Hauter--One of Seven Women Working to Change the Food System

Food Tank: The Food Think Tank

Press Releases: Financialization Of Nature

Press Releases Found: 5
April 4, 2013

REDD+ Program Gets a D Minus on Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Press Release: California’s Global Warming Solutions Act created a voluntary cap-and-trade market in an effort to achieve a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Some policymakers consider this program a test market for a national model, as well as a possible opportunity to use international forest offsets from REDD+ programs in developing countries. However, a new report points to significant problems that prevent REDD+ forest offsets from legitimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Bad Trade: International Forest Offsets and California’s Carbon Market, released by Food & Water Watch today, demonstrates that cap-and-trade markets are not a viable solution because they don’t encourage emission reductions at the source, but instead privatize natural resources, present opportunities for corrupt offset trading, and threaten the livelihoods and resources of indigenous communities.

January 16, 2013

Cashing Out Our Clean Air and Water with Pollution Trading

Pollution Trading: Cashing Out Our Clean Air and Water documents government-sanctioned pollution reduction programs that provide a market place for trading credit allotments in an effort to offset harmful discharges. But these mechanisms don’t deter industrial pollution. In fact, they give companies an opportunity to pay and trade for the “right” to pollute.

December 4, 2012

The Value of Nothing: GDP Alternatives to the Alternatives

Press Release: In an issue brief released today by Food & Water Watch, the national consumer advocate highlights the importance of creating alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that do not facilitate the financialization of nature. The brief, And the Value of Nothing: Alternatives to Gross Domestic Product and the Financialization of Nature, explains that GDP was never intended to account for distribution of wealth, quality of natural resources and schools, and other factors that measure the overall health of a society.

“Relying on market-based schemes to protect the environment and fight climate change is misguided and it will have serious repercussions in the future,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Consumers must be diligent in monitoring the decisions of policymakers who seek to financialize our public resources.”

While economists promote many alternatives to GDP, the most prominent alternatives attempt to impose market values on common resources, which would lead to their commodification. But these recommendations do not offer solutions to the problem of GDP; they merely extend its parameters to include our priceless resources. Pollution trading and water privatization are concrete examples of these misguided efforts to apply market mechanisms to environmental problems.

“The idea that you can correct the damage caused by the spread of markets by expanding markets even further is misguided,” said Mitch Jones, director of Common Resources at Food & Water Watch. “We shouldn’t try to counter neoliberalism with some sort of left neoliberalism.”

In the wake of a major economic crisis fueled by the deregulation of Wall Street and riddled with staggering unemployment statistics, state governments and economists have been pursuing alternative means to GDP. Unfortunately, many of these alternatives would aid aggressive efforts to financialize nature and profit from privatizing resources that should be managed by the public.

October 18, 2012

Marking the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act By Protecting It

Statement: “Today, clean water advocates are marking the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a critical piece of legislation Congress created to protect our public waterways from industrial and chemical pollution. While the Clean Water Act is supposed to help the nation achieve the ultimate goal of completely eliminating all pollution into public waterways, it is currently being undermined by the same financial interests responsible for the housing crisis. As we celebrate 40 years of the Clean Water Act, we are simultaneously defending it from the biggest attack in its 40-year history.”

July 20, 2012

Agricultural Offsets Won’t Improve California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

Media Statement: The recent news that American Carbon Registry approved a new methodology for estimating nitrous oxide (N20) emissions from fertilizer application in agriculture renews our concern that California is considering allowing agricultural offsets in its carbon cap-and-trade program. Allowing these offsets would make an already risky program even worse for the residents of California.