Neoliberal Capitalism by Design: Environmental Havoc

Neoliberal Capitalism can only be effective in lowering the cost of American goods if its production costs can be externalized to the global non-rich and/or the environment. As predatory corporations around the world systemically ignore or understate the effect that their business practices have on the environment without consequence (rather, with reward), it is important to acknowledge that this is Global Neoliberal Capitalism by design and it is wreaking apocalyptic environmental havoc on our planet.

“SPOTT assesses 50 timber and pulp producers on the public disclosure of their policies, operations and commitments to environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practice. Results show that the tropical forestry sector has much more to do to improve the public disclosure of its policies, operations and commitments, with an average score of just 31%. Only five of the 50 companies assessed demonstrated higher levels of transparency (scoring more than 66%).

Investors may not have sufficient access to publicly available information to assess land based risks such as deforestation and land-conflicts, as only eight companies were found to publish clear and comprehensive maps of their forestry operations, while 27 companies disclosed incomplete information. A further 15 companies do not provide any suitable maps of their operations, meaning the location of over 45,000 square kilometres – or over six million football pitches – of forestry operations remains unclear.” ~via the CFA Institute

“The release of classified documents in the past years have offered a rare glimpse into the opaque world of tax havens and their role in the global economy. Although the political, economic and social implications related to these financial secrecy jurisdictions are known, their role in supporting economic activities with potentially detrimental environmental consequences have until now been largely ignored. Here, we combine quantitative analysis with case descriptions to elaborate and quantify the connections between tax havens and the environment, both in global fisheries and the Brazilian Amazon. We show that while only 4% of all registered fishing vessels are currently flagged in a tax haven, 70% of the known vessels implicated in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are, or have been, flagged under a tax haven jurisdiction. We also find that between October 2000 and August 2011, 68% of all investigated foreign capital to nine focal companies in the soy and beef sectors in the Brazilian Amazon was transferred through one, or several, known tax havens. This represents as much as 90–100% of foreign capital for some companies investigated.” ~via Nature Magazine