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Finance Watch calls for conservation “bail out”

ForestCurrent efforts by the financial industry to promote conservation and combat climate change do not go far enough, according to a report published by European NGO Finance Watch.

The report from the Brussels-based lobby group says that measures to tackle “financial short-termism” have been put forward but rarely put into action. The environment is a “public good”, the report states, not the “bread-and-butter of mainstream private investors”.

“Nature is the ultimate too-big-to-fail; if it goes, the economy and our societies go with it. We found trillions to save the banks, surely nature deserves the same attention,” said the association’s secretary general Benoît Lallemand.

“Our landscape paper describes what a ‘bail-out plan for nature’ might contain: redirecting public subsidies on energy, agriculture and fisheries; mandating companies and private finance to take account of long-term environmental impacts; and dramatically upscaling public and mission-oriented financing,” said Lallemand.

The organization puts down the lack of funding for private conservation projects to lack of bankable projects, relatively low rate of return, the small size of the projects, and the lack of clarity on where the revenue stream would come from.

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