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Aiming to share experiences and information about the mechanisms, policies and actors behind the so-called Financialization of Nature and to think of public awareness and lobby strategies in the European Union around this issue, the Economic Justice – Resisting Neoliberalism Program of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) together with FoE France, organized a meeting about this topic from May 25 to 28.
The organizers of the activity highlighted “the need to advance these discussions around the new capital accumulation strategies, based on the deepening of the processes of privatization and commodification of nature privatization , and now with a clear financial component”, said Danilo Urrea, member of CENSAT – Agua Viva, FoE Colombia, who participated in the meeting.
Real World Radio interviewed Julia Dehm, member of FoE Australia, who was also present at the meeting. About the relationship between the extractivist economic model in Australia and REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) projects, the activist said that her country “rather than taking the drastic actions that climate scientists and climate justice says we need to take to transform that, there is actually an acceleration and intensification of coal mining, coal exports and coal seam gas”.
Julia highlighted that “Australia´s coal exports now contribute or will contribute three times as much as our domestic emissions to global greenhouse gas emissions”. The activist believes the future scenario is even worse, since there are several proposals for megamining projects in Galilee Basin, Queensland State, in addition to coal export terminals on the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout the East coast, there are coal seam gas exploitation projects under development. “All of these projects are being resisted on the ground by frontline communities, farmers groups, environmental NGOs and indigenous communities”, she added.
The new conservative government in Australia denies climate change and proposes to abolish the already bad emission offsetting schemes, to replace them with what they call a “direct action model” to address climate change “…where we see offsets, but without the targets”; and in addition to continue supporting the REDD projects already criticized by Friends of the Earth Australia and Indonesia groups, there is now a biodiversity offsetting proposal.
According to Julia, the coal industry believes that the impacts on certain territories (such as the Great Reef Barrier) can be compensated with financialization mechanisms in other areas. The Australian activist considers that the narrative seems to be that to preserve biodiversity in one place, it is necessary to destroy it first in another place, while in fact, “the struggle needs to continue to stop the expansion of the extractive industries and to protect the biodiversity that will be threatened through the expansion of these coal mines, to protect the Great Barrier Reef which will be critically disturbed by the expansion of coal ports along the reefs”.
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