In a statement released today, 257 organisations, networks and movements and 78 individuals from 61 countries say no to “nature-based solutions”. The statement warns that “nature-based dispossessions” and harmful practices such as monoculture tree plantations and industrial agriculture lurk behind the “nature-based solutions” marketing front that the UK government, the world’s biggest corporate polluters and the conservation industry are peddling at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“The climate damage caused when corporations keep releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere cannot be offset through planting trees, protecting forests, restoring soils or tweaking industrial farming practices”, says Focus on the Global South. “Forests, soils, eco-systems and biodiversity must be restored and protected for sure. But to meaningfully address the havoc wreaked by industrial agriculture, globalized industrial food systems and global trade, we need systemic transformation such as agroecology, local sustainable food systems, short supply chains and territorial markets.”
Corporations like Shell, Eni and Total claim that with “nature-based solutions”, they can bring down their greenhouse gas emissions to zero and continue to profit from extracting fossil fuels. Companies from Microsoft to Unilever have tied their net-zero and carbon neutrality promises to offsetting their emissions through “nature-based solutions” projects.
Corporate demand for “nature-based solutions” will enclose living spaces of Indigenous Peoples, peasants and other forest-dependent communities on a massive scale. The “net-zero” plan of world’s largest food company, Nestlé, alone could require 4.4 million hectares of land per year for offsets. That’s just one of hundreds of corporate net-zero pledges risking to enclose peoples’ territories in the global South.
The statement calls on climate, environmental and social justice movements to unequivocally reject “nature-based solutions” and all offset schemes because they are not designed to address the climate crisis. To avert catastrophic climate chaos, the destruction of underground fossil carbon stores must be stopped, and Frontline communities opposed to fossil fuel extraction and pipelines are showing the way.
Governments meeting in Glasgow must not let “nature-based solutions” distract them from agreeing on a time-bound plan to leave the remaining coal, oil and gas reserves in the ground. Time has run out for dangerous “nature-based distractions“!
The No to Nature-Based Solutions statement remains open for sign-on until the end of 2021.
Read the full statement here:
The statement is initiated by: Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Alianza Biodiversidad, Asian Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, ETC group, Focus on the Global South, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance (GGJ), GRAIN, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), Indigenous Climate Action (ICA), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), World March of Women (WMW), World Rainforest Movement (WRM).