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Food & Water Watch is a tireless champion in the fight to preserve our right to the untainted fruits of the earth. Their leadership in putting people above corporate profits is invaluable.
Published on April 04, 2013 - Issue Briefs: In November 2012, California’s Air Resources board auctioned off the first round of carbon permits for its voluntary cap-and-trade market, which officially went live on January 1, 2013. This initiative came out of California Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which sets a goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (a reduction of about 30 percent).
Published on April 03, 2013 - Issue Briefs: In recent years, a push has been made to transform environmental protection around the world from regulatory regimes to cap-and-trade schemes. Under cap-and-trade, polluters are offered the opportunity to “pay to pollute,” turning decades of environmental efforts on their head and undermining improvements in environmental health. The linchpin of these cap-and-trade schemes is “offsets,” or credits from outside the regulated industry that polluters can buy in order to keep on polluting.
Published on March 15, 2013 - Fact Sheets: Catch limits are protective caps on the number of fish that can be caught in a fishing year. They are a fundamental measure to prevent overfishing and ensure the long-term sustainability of fish stocks. These measures are set based on scientific assessments of the health of fish stocks.
Published on February 20, 2013 - Issue Briefs: Around half of the fish that the world eats for dinner comes from fish farms. Aquaculture is promoted as a sustainable way to meet rising consumer demand for seafood. But fish farming relies on small, wild fish to feed farmed fish, pollutes the waters around it with wastes and chemicals and threatens wild fish biodiversity through escapes and disease transmission.
Published on January 14, 2013 - Issue Briefs: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has indicated that it will soon advance the regulatory application of genetically engineered (GE) salmon, which, if approved, would be the first such animal allowed into the U.S. food supply.1 AquaBounty Technologies, the creator of GE salmon, boasts that the fish's fast growth rate will increase food production, feed the world's hungry, reduce ecological pressure on wild salmon harvests, create jobs and diminish the carbon footprint of producing seafood.2 However, the science behind GE salmon does not support the hype.
Published on January 11, 2013 - Issue Briefs: During the 111th Congress, as legislators debated ways to cope with climate change, the flaws of cap-and-trade approaches doomed the attempt to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act. A final push came in the form of a different bill. Senators Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins introduced S.2877, the “CLEAR Act,” which rested on a principle called cap-and-dividend. Although cap-and-dividend avoids the pitfalls of trading credits and offsets, it still relies on a market solution for pollution that upends our commitment to stop pollution and protect our families and our environment.
Published on December 12, 2012 - Issue Briefs: The last 20 years of environmental protection have seen a steady shift away from many of the tried-and-true regulatory control approaches that force industries to implement increasingly more protective pollution abatement measures. We are witnessing a move toward market-driven off set programs that substitute trading for technology. With both air and water, industries are now being offered pay-to-pollute approaches that enable them to purchase pollution “credits” instead of working to reduce their harmful discharges. Of course, these market mechanisms come with a whole host of loopholes and liabilities.
Published on December 04, 2012 - Issue Briefs: Whenever you read a report or hear on the news that the economy is growing, what you are hearing is that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is growing. But while GDP measures economic activity, it does not measure the distribution of the wealth created by that activity, or the quality of our air and water, or the quality of our schools. Yet, when we hear GDP is growing many of us believe that the country is doing better than it was. Given that economists, politicians and the media treat GDP this way, it is no surprise that we think this way.
No apueste a Wall Street: la financiarización de la naturaleza y el riesgo para nuestros bienes comunesPublished on October 15, 2012 - Fact Sheets: Whenever you read a report or hear on the news that the economy is growing, what you are hearing is that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is growing. But while GDP measures economic activity, it does not measure the distribution of the wealth created by that activity, or the quality of our air and water, or the quality of our schools. Yet, when we hear GDP is growing many of us believe that the country is doing better than it was. Given that economists, politicians and the media treat GDP this way, it is no surprise that we think this way.
Published on September 11, 2012 - Fact Sheets: In 1977, Congress passed a set of amendments to the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Together, the original act and the amendments came to be known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA set a strong and simple standard that polluting is illegal, and that the national goal is zero discharge into our public waterways. Failing achievement of zero discharge, the CWA set limits on discharges.
Private Equity, Public Inequity: The Public Cost of Private Equity Takeovers of U.S. Water InfrastructurePublished on August 22, 2012 - Reports: Investment bankers and other major financial players are increasingly interested in taking control of water and sewer services across the United States. Private equity vehicles are armed with more than $100 billion for infrastructure worldwide. Although most deals in the U.S. water utility market have involved existing private sector companies, a number of fund managers anticipate that the ongoing fiscal crisis will drive some governments to privatize their water infrastructure. To make that prediction a reality, major financial interests are backing various government proposals that facilitate privatization and private financing of public infrastructure.
Published on August 16, 2012 - Fact Sheets: Enbridge Inc., Canada's largest transporter of crude oil, claims to no longer be pursuing its 'Trailbreaker' plan as first proposed in 2008: to run Canadian tar sands oil through an aging pipeline that stretches across northern New England from Montreal, Canada, to Portland, Maine. Yet given that efforts to send tar sands oil south to refineries in Texas through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — as well as efforts to send the oil west from Alberta to British Columbia — have face stiff opposition and stalled, New England remains at risk.
Published on July 27, 2012 - Fact Sheets: The United States and the European Union are moving toward privatizing their fisheries management systems through catch shares, while Iceland, with one of the world’s oldest and most comprehensive catch share programs, is struggling to find a way to dismantle its program. Why? The answer is that catch shares have failed Iceland’s fisheries and the nation as a whole.
Published on July 02, 2012 - Reports: In this report, the first to address the relationship between the soy and factory fish farming industries, Food & Water Watch reveals that, while the soy industry stands to make large profits from the expansion of factory fish farming, there is no guarantee that soy-based aquaculture feed can consistently produce healthy fish or promote ecological responsibility. In fact, by causing fish to produce excess waste, soy could lead to an even more polluting fish farming industry.
Published on June 27, 2012 - Fact Sheets: All too often when an economist or banker looks out at an expanse of virgin forest or free-flowing river, she doesn’t see nature — she sees “natural capital.” This concept promotes the view that our natural resources should be attached a value and managed using market-based principles of supply and demand. It is the cornerstone of the “green economy” that many free-market proponents and market-oriented environmentalists assert will provide environmental sustainability.
Water Is NOT a Commodity, Water Is a COMMON Resource: The Rationale for States to Hold Groundwater in the Public TrustPublished on June 21, 2012 - Fact Sheets: Many communities have had no option but to go to court to try and protect their groundwater from corporate water bottlers. These legal battles can be extremely expensive and time consuming, and water-bottling schemes have torn towns apart. Although some communities have banned commercial water extraction, not all towns have had such success.
Published on April 11, 2012 - Reports: For the past 25 years, emissions trading, known more recently as "cap-and-trade," has been promoted as the best strategy for solving pollution problems. Based on an obscure economic theory that gained prominence in the 1960s at the University of Chicago, it was embraced by the Reagan administration as a replacement for regulating air emissions. Since that time, it has gained acceptance among environmental organizations and the largest environmental funders.
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