Newsletter no 56 – Editorial

Challenging the financing behind green and blue grabbing

Illustration: Luisa Rivera,

Mobilising large quantities of private finance to replace the lack of public finance is fast becoming a new goal in discussions on climate and biodiversity financing. But this push means that the commodification and financialization of nature is reaching alarming levels, causing a new territorial grab and undermining environmental justice. “Green economy” mechanisms like carbon credits, biodiversity offset markets, and debt-for-nature swaps are not only misguided but perilous.

This edition explores some of the varied and bewildering array of new schemes that financialise oceans, soils, seaweed, and forests. A fundamental flaw lies in the approach that prioritizes profit over genuine environmental stewardship and returns for investors, often at the expense of local communities. These mechanisms frequently lead to the dispossession of Indigenous Peoples and small-scale producers, who are forced off their lands and seas to make way for lucrative conservation projects. The promised benefits of these financial schemes rarely reach those who bear the brunt of their impacts.

The testimonies here clearly show that the movements of Indigenous Peoples, fishers and peasants are fighting back across the different UN platforms and in their own territories. Our movements are demanding public funding for climate and biodiversity, debt cancellation, reparations, respect for the rights and knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and other communities, and genuine accountability and regulation of the corporations that have long profited from environmental exploitation.

We know the curtain has been pulled back on the fantasy of neoliberal ideology, its failures exposed. So, we collectively fight its proliferation into nature and our territories.

Friends of the Earth International, ETC Group, Transnational Institute