Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The financial crisis: nothing special

Even the relatively progressive newspaper I subscribe to (Danish Information) has been front page worried about the financial crisis bringing an end to environmental initiatives. Although it's probably going to be true in many cases I have thought of it as fossilized thinking that going green should equal spending green. The key is to try and think of what we have to accomplish in terms of what investments will take us there.

Today ENN has two articles that agree:

US focus on climate could ease financial crisis
"My very strong belief is that we need to reorient our investments toward this transition to a clean energy economy, and it will be the engine of growth for getting us out of the doldrums that we've gotten in right now" - Cathy Zoi
Cost of deforestation is vastly greater than that of the current financial crisis
"Whereas Wall Street by various calculations has to date lost, within the financial sector, $1-$1.5 trillion, the reality is that at today's rate we are losing natural capital at least between $2-$5 trillion every year" - Deutche Bank economist
Also remember that the financial crisis has left few physical marks. All that has suffered are the capitalist fantasies of some investors (and of course some everyday dreams of common people too who have been more or less forced into the financial fantasies by the resulting market changes - my apologies to you for being cynical on behalf of the environment).



    "Human well-being is dependent upon "ecosystem services" provided by nature for free, such as water and air purification, fisheries, timber and nutrient cycling. These are predominantly public goods with no markets and no prices, so their loss often is not detected by our current economic incentive system and can thus continue unabated. A variety of pressures resulting from population growth, changing diets, urbanisation, climate change and many other factors is causing biodiversity to decline, and ecosystems are continuously being degraded. The world’s poor are most at risk from the continuing loss of biodiversity, as they are the ones that are most reliant on the ecosystem services that are being degraded."

  2. UN: crisis must not stop climate change action
    ""There was a very strong consensus that the current financial turmoil should not be an excuse to slow down action on climate change," Yvo de Boer, executive secretary for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, told The Associated Press after the talks.

    "Many ministers said that addressing climate change can deliver important economic benefits that are important in the light of the current financial situation as well," de Boer added."


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