Prince Charles Thinks Financial Ecosystems Markets Best Bet to Stop Deforestation


photo: Greenpeace Esperanza

The last time Prince Charles graced this site was when he was (cough) more than slightly critical of GM crops. In fact he called them potentially the "biggest environmental disaster of all time." While statements like that are bound to cause controversy on a number of fronts, the Prince's statements earlier this week that we need a sense of "wartime urgency" about rainforest conservation can probably be embraced with less hubbub. His suggested method may still cause a stir:Eco-System Services Could be Traded for Profit
After warning attendees at a gala function in London that an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch (which is bigger than an US Football field...) is chopped down every four seconds, he suggested that setting up a new "ecosystems market" could be used to prevent deforestation.

The Telegraph summed how this would work:

Like the financial markets that already exist, the new system would put a value on rainforests in order to protect the benefits they bring such as absorbing carbon emissions, generating fresh water and preserving wildlife. Traders could then make a healthy profit from buying and selling rainforest as a new asset class.

Short Term Problems Shouldn't Detract From Long Term Issues
He went on to argue that the financial markets should begin dealing with deforestation, even in hard economic times:
I know that we are meeting at time when short term economic problems have become acute. And you might think it extremely odd, let alone mildly eccentric, to be asking the private sector to focus on what may appear to be tomorrow's problem.

But cost effectiveness is even more important during financial hard times and the whole point about halting deforestation is that, along with improved energy efficiency, it is the most cost effective, and immediate, way to fight climate change.

The original article said that Greenpeace welcomed the idea, provided that such a system was audited to protect indigenous peoples' rights, and it operated in conjunction with a fund that would pay developing countries to protect their forests.

via :: The Telegraph
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Tags: Deforestation | Economics | United Kingdom