Offsetting: Financial Hocus-Pocus Posing as Conservation
The EU is showing every indication of making a very bad turn indeed on biodiversity offsetting, and you can help us put on the brakes.
By Eve Mitchell
|What Is This “No Net Loss” Concept?|
The EU No Net Loss Plan
Stand Up for YOUR Natural Heritage Now
You can’t end up right if you start out wrong. At least it’s awful hard (and takes a big helping of blind luck).
The EU is showing every indication of making a very bad turn indeed on biodiversity offsetting, and you can help us put on the brakes. Biodiversity offsetting is all the rage lately because it offers a seemingly easy way for governments to allow habitats to be destroyed by companies that can afford to pretend to make up for the damage somewhere else. It doesn’t work.
Offsetting is getting a lot of attention, including from esteemed organisations like the London Zoological Society. The zoo hosted a conference on offsetting in April attended by a host of representatives of companies that make money from this kind of thing. They were addressed by no less than the (now former) UK Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Patterson offering official support.
An extreme version of the erroneous biodiversity offsetting is the No Net Loss concept. No Net Loss (or NNL in the jargon) says you can somehow recreate the nature you destroy without really causing any “damage” at all, even if you don’t “replace” like-for-like (so destroying a salt water marsh and replacing it with forest of the same “value” equates to no overall damage done – it’s mind boggling).
We’re not buying it and neither should you. Here’s how you can help:
The European Commission is holding a consultation on adopting NNL as a key principle in Europe. The consultation is part of implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 (which “aims to halt biodiversity loss and to conserve ecosystem services”). The Strategy’s Action 7 is “to ensure no net loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services”. The Commission proposes to use NNL and biodiversity offsetting to do it.
The Commission says the purpose of its consultation is “to gather views” about that proposal. We need to tell them we don’t like it one bit.
Nature Not For Sale has written a letter to the Commission we can all sign. Please do.
The letter explains our reasons for rejecting offsetting.
It tells the Commission, “Nature is a common good that all share rights to and have responsibilities over.” You get the idea. Please help us tell the Commission to get the EU headed in the right direction. I did.