Eco-capitalism is one of several strategies of the
green movementand Green Parties. Its central idea is that capital exists in nature as " natural capital" (self-renewing productive ecosystems that have a measurable ecological yieldor tangible benefit to humans) on which all wealthdepends. Other forms of capital that are created by humans (like infrastructural capitaland financial capital) simply extend and optimize this natural capital with creativity, training and trust. In this view: Nature's servicesare the base of a service economy- so interfering with nature's services destroys rather than creates value, and must not be rewarded with assistance or subsidies from the state. However, other than that, competition between humans is thought to be inevitable and an effective way to organize - rather in the same way as certain animal species. In this line of thought, biologist Lynn Margulisclaimed that economicsis the study of how humans make a living, while ecologystudies how other species make a living.
More than other types of
green politics, this strategy advocates monetary reformand the use of eco-friendly business models and economic policies. It usually includes any environmental policy with an intended positive economic return. An example are the rules against overfishing to allow stocks to replenish for future fishing, resulting in a so-called sustainable fishery. This pleases many scientific ecologists but not, for instance, animal rightsadvocates.
Eco-capitalism seeks creative policy instruments to resolve environmental problems where
public goodsare difficult to protect. Unlike in other green economics, it is usually very possible to construct a value of lifeor value of Earthanalysis using eco-capitalist models, or even to reconcile the utility of various choices as would be done in neoclassical economics. Because everything is reduced ultimately to some number, a price premiumcan be calculated by each choice in, say, a moral purchasingor regulatory regime. This makes it possible, according to advocates, to actually make globalismwork. The Kyoto Protocol, for instance, assigns a "de facto" value to human life in developing nations of about 1/15 the value of a life in developed nations, based on the ability of the latter to pay to prevent deaths due to climate change.
Some have described this strategy as a form of
realpolitik, a constructive non-ideological compromise between the existing power structures and banking systems of the IMFand BIS and the emerging consensus that ecological systems have value.
The term Blue Greens is sometimes applied to those who espouse eco-capitalism. This can either be greens who accept or favor
free marketprinciples to achieve environmental aims or conservatives or liberals who espouse Green policies or, more generally, environmental concerns. The term should be contrasted with Red Greens.
Eco-capitalist monetary and administrative reforms
Genuine Progress Indicators as basis of monetary reform
full cost accountingfor ecological harms done by subsidies
pollution credits to encourage businesses to adopt anti-pollution technologies
Green tax shift
Examples of eco-friendly business models
* The privatization of eco protection e.g. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/
* Green Business Consultant (Jim Harris, former leader of the
Green Party of Canada)
* environmental entrepreneurism [http://www.ecospeakers.com/speakers/shiremanb.html Bill Shireman]
Natural Capitalismeco-options; eco-arbitrage; eco-secondary markets (Lovins)
* ecopreneur "entrepreneurs using business tools to preserve open space, develop wildlife habitat, save endangered species, and generally improve environmental quality"
* TerraCycle Inc. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracycle] [http://www.terracycle.net/eco_capitalism.htm]
tragedy of the commons
tragedy of the anticommons
free market environmentalism
* Chapple, Stephen (2001) "Confessions of an Eco-Redneck: Or how I Learned to Gut-Shoot Trout and Save the Wilderness at the Same Time" ISBN 0-641-54292-5 Perseus Publishing - September 2001
* Comolet, A. (1991). The Ecological Renewal. From Eco-Utopia to Eco-Capitalism Le Renouveau ecologique. De l'eco-utopie a l'eco-capitalisme. Futuribles, 157(Sept.), 41-54.
* Sarkar, Saral (1999) "Eco-Socialism Or Eco-Capitalism? : A Critical Analysis of Humanity's Fundamental Choices" by Saral Sarkar 1999
* Porritt, Jonathon (2005, revised 2007) "Capitalism: As If The World Matters". ISBN:9781844071937 Earthscan Publications Ltd, London
* [http://www.cygnus-group.com/CIDM/ecol.html CIDM]
* [http://natcap.org Natcap.org]
* [http://rmi.org RMI.org]
* [http://www.ecofirms.org Eco Companies Directory]
* [http://www.theecocapitalist.com The Eco Capitalist]
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