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Heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires are devastating communities around the world, and they will only grow more severe.
While climate-change deniers remain powerful, the need for urgent action is now recognized well beyond activist circles. Governments, international organizations and even business and finance are bowing to the inevitable — or so it seems.
In fact, the world has wasted decades tinkering with carbon trading and “green” financial labeling schemes, and the current vogue is merely to devise fancy hedging strategies (“ carbon offsets “) in defiance of the simple fact that humanity is sitting in the same boat.
“Offsetting” may serve individual asset holders, but it will do little to avert the climate disaster that awaits us all.
The private sector’s embrace of “ green capitalism ” appears to be yet another gimmick to avoid a real reckoning. If business and finance leaders were serious, they would recognize the need to change course drastically to ensure that this planet remains hospitable for all of humanity now and in the future.
This is not about substituting brown assets for green ones, but about sharing the losses that brown capitalism has imposed on millions and ensuring a future even for the most vulnerable.
The notion of green capitalism implies that the costs of addressing climate change are too high for governments to shoulder on their own, and that the private sector always has better answers.
So, for advocates of green capitalism, public-private partnership will ensure that the transition from brown to green capitalism will be cost-neutral. Efficiently priced investments in new technologies supposedly will prevent humanity from stepping over into the abyss.But this sounds too good to be true, because it is.Capitalism’s DNA makes it unfit to cope with the fallout from climate change, which in no small part is the product of capitalism itself. The entire capitalist system is premised on the privatization of gains and the socialization of losses — not in […]
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