Does biodiversity offsetting make nature a commodity? — a comment by Agata Szafraniuk

Image credit: Pixabay

Recently I found a post on Hot Air (A Client Earth blog) which asks: Does bio­di­ver­sity off­set­ting make nature a com­mod­ity? In her arti­cle Agata Szafra­niuk com­ments on the EU No Net Loss Ini­tia­tive and gives some con­clu­sions from the related pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion. Read more here and see some of her con­clu­sions below (need­less to say that here line of rea­son­ing is mostly opposed to bio­di­ver­sity offsets).

Shift of the Euro­pean Commission’s perspective?

It remains unclear what form the NNL ini­tia­tive is going to take. If bio­di­ver­sity off­set­ting is included, it might be manda­tory or voluntary.

But as we can see, the results of the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion shows that manda­tory off­set­ting did not get approval from the majority.

There are now rumours that because of the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion results, the ‘manda­tory’ options are no longer on the table in Brus­sels delib­er­a­tions. This is sur­pris­ing given the cur­rent EU polit­i­cal land­scape and the past efforts from the Com­mis­sion to con­vince busi­ness and civil soci­ety alike that the manda­tory option would be the best. How­ever, if true, this shift could be seen as a reac­tion to the con­cerns raised in the pub­lic consultation.

Is this a ray of light among the dark clouds? Wouldn’t this be a promis­ing exam­ple of cit­i­zens influ­enc­ing EU policy?

In the next month we will see how true these rumours are, and learn more about what shape the NNL ini­tia­tive will take.


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