Open Letter on World Forum on Natural Capital 23rd November 2015, EdinburghNatural Capital or Corporate Greenwash?

Edinburgh is playing host to the second World Forum on Natural Capital this week. ‘Natural Capital’ puts a price on nature with a view to getting businesses to protect ecosystems as if they were economic assets. It is a con that promotes the interests of businesses in the name of environmental and social protection, as the companies represented demonstrate [see also Rob Edwards here and Miles King here].

Alongside the First Minister, the Forum boasts speakers from some of the worst corporate polluters seeking to greenwash malpractice. For example Unilever, which refuses to compensate former workers poisoned in its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, South India, or adequately to clean up the land it contaminated with mercury.

Or Nestle, which has been subject to a longstanding boycott because of its continuing aggressive marketing of profitable breastmilk substitutes in breach of the World Health Organisation Code, and more recently implicated in child labour and bottling water during the California drought.

And Dow Chemical company, up to its oxters in CEO corruption allegations, dodgy pesticide safety data and a toxic legacy stretching back to Agent Orange, continues to deny justice to the survivors of the world’s most deadly environmental disaster in Bhopal, India, by harbouring Union Carbide, the company whose assets it pocketed but whose liabilities it refuses to acknowledge.

The organisers of this Forum should be demanding of their speakers that these companies come clean on their criminal negligence, social injustice and environmental destruction before lecturing on how to make ecosystem protection compatible with their corporate profiteering.

Yours sincerely
Eurig Scandrett,
Scottish Friends of Bhopal
Rashida Bee,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Rachna Dhingra
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
Graziano Frigeri
European Work Hazards Network
Nityanand Jayaraman,
Tamil Nadu Alliance Against Mercury, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Kathy Jenkins,
Scottish Hazards Campaign
Nawab Khan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Safreen Khan
Children Against Dow Carbide
Máire McCormack
Friends of the Earth Scotland
Liz Murray
Global Justice Now, Scotland
Balkrishna Namdeo
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha
Shweta Narayan,
The Other Media, Chennai
Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information & Action
Archanaa Seker,
Chennai Solidarity Group