Financial institutions are crucial players in the global fight against climate change. In order for countries around the world to successfully pursue low-carbon and climate-resilient development, significant funds will need to be harnessed.
Consider this: the United States has contributed 28.75 percent of historical, cumulative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while all Central and South American nations combined have only contributed 3.58 percent. And that, although the population of Latin America is nearly double that of the United States.
Many of us wear gold jewelry, and almost all of us use electronic devices that contain small amounts of gold. And of course, people who invested in gold have reaped a nice profit as the price of gold has almost doubled during the past three years. But do we ever think about what that gold is REALLY worth – what the true human and environmental costs of that gold are?
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Don Federico, a Panamanian fisherman who has spent more than 26 years at sea and has thousands of stories to share. He told us what it was like when he first began fishing:
"We saw dolphins, whales, sharks and turtles everywhere. Out of ignorance, the fishing boats would catch and kill upwards of 300 dolphins per day, and the children would play with turtle eggs on the beaches."
Now, less than three decades later, Don Federico explained that there is none of that.
Most environmentalists believe that nature has a right to exist for its own sake, but that's not how the law works in our country.
In the United States, nature is defensible only if a human will miss the forest, species, or clean water when it is gone. To use the law, a human must first prove harm to their person.
If that proverbial tree falls in the woods and no human cares, no laws were broken. But if a tree falls and the hiker who depended on its shade is harmed, the U.S. legal system may provide some relief.