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Bond, Patrick Translation ka-Manzi, Faith  (2012) Inclusive green growth or extractive greenwashed decay?.  : -.

The debate over the Green Economy rages on next month in Rio de Janeiro, at the International Society for Ecological Economics meetings, the Cupulo dos Povos alternative people’s summit, and the UN’s Rio+20 Earth Summit. Proponents and critics of ‘green growth’ capitalism will butt heads using narratives about valuations of nature and the efficacy of markets.

Boiling down a complex argument from her book Eco-Sufficiency & Global Justice, University of Sydney-based political ecologist Ariel Salleh observes how a triple externalization of costs ‘takes the form of an extraction of surpluses, both economic and thermodynamic: 1) a social debt to inadequately paid workers; 2) an embodied debt to women family caregivers; and 3) an ecological debt drawn on nature at large.’

At minimum, addressing these problems requires full-fledged re-accounting to toss out the fatally-flawed GDP indicator, and to internalize environment and society in the ways we assess costs and benefits. This exercise would logically both precede and catalyze a full-fledged transformation of financing, extraction, production, transport and distribution, consumption and disposal systems.

But it is only in the struggle for transformation that we learn how institutions of power hold fast to their privileges, and why genuine change won’t happen through mere tampering with national income accounts: ‘torturing the data until they confess’, the old economists’ adage.

The World Bank is one such institution, in part because the man taking charge next month, Jim Yong Kim, is a progressive medic and anthropologist. It’s fair to predict that he’ll add style to the Bank’s ‘talk left, walk right’ break-dance repertoire, spinning out arguments that will make our heads spin, while business continues more or less as usual.

A good example of environmental reformist PR can be found in the new Bank report, Inclusive Green Growth. ‘Care must be taken to ensure that cities and roads, factories, and farms are designed, managed, and regulated as efficiently as possible to wisely use natural resources while supporting the robust growth developing countries still need,’ argue Bank staff led by Inger Andersen and Rachel Kyte, in order to move the economy ‘away from suboptimalities and increase efficiency – and hence contribute to short-term growth – while protecting the environment.’

Of course, certain uses of resources are off limits for polite discussion, as Bank staff dare not question financiers’ commodity speculation, export-led growth or the irrationality of so much international trade, including wasted bunker fuel for shipping not to mention truck freight.

Yet the Bank cannot help but momentarily inject a power variable into its technicist analysis: ‘That so much pricing is currently inefficient suggests complex political economy considerations. Whether it takes the form of preferential access to land and credit or access to cheap energy and resources, every subsidy creates its own lobby. Large enterprises (both state owned and private) have political power and lobbying capacity. Energy-intensive export industries, for example, will lobby for subsidies to maintain their competitiveness.’

Would the Bank dare practice what it preaches about ending ‘inefficient’ subsidization, given how it amplifies irrational power relations when maintaining the world’s largest fossil-fuel financing portfolio? When Inclusive Green Growth argues that ‘Governments need to focus on the wider social benefits of reforms and need to be willing to stand up to lobby groups’, we cannot forget the Bank’s own largest-ever project credit, granted just two years ago. The $3.75 billion loan for a 4800 MW coal-fired power plant (‘Medupi’) was, according to outgoing Bank president Robert Zoellick and his colleagues, aimed at helping poor South Africans.

In reality the benefits are overwhelmingly to mining houses which get the world’s cheapest electricity (around US$0.02/kWh). The costs of Medupi and its successor Kusile are borne not just by all who will suffer from climate change (including an estimated 180 million additionally dead Africans this century). All South Africans are losing access to electricity through disconnections, and as a result, engaging in world-leading rates of community protest because to pay for Medupi and Kusile, price increases have exceeded 100 percent over the past four years.

The Bank’s Inclusive Green Growth arguments always return to profit incentives: ‘If the environment is considered as productive capital, it makes sense to invest in it, and environmental policies can be considered as investment.’

The nature-as-capital narrative leans dangerously close to the maniacal positioning of former Bank officials Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett, who in 1991 wrote their infamous memo in preparation for the original Rio conference: ‘The economic logic of dumping a load of toxic waste on the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.’

Facing up to pollution externalities is deceptively simple within the Bank’s pre-existing neoliberal narrative, of fixing a market problem with a market solution. For example, ‘Lack of property rights in the sea has led to overfishing – in some cases with devastating results. The use of individual transferable quotas can correct this market failure, increasing both output and employment in the fishing industry.’

The Bank’s banal reversion to transferable quotas – also known as cap-and-trade – is most extreme in the greenhouse gas markets, where its writers fail to acknowledge profound flaws that have crashed the price of a ton of carbon from €35 to €7 these last six years. The Bank, which subsidizes carbon trading, mentions only a few allegedly-fixable European Union Emissions Trading Scheme design problems. It ignores the deeper critique of carbon markets developed, for example, in our new report, “CDMs Cannot Deliver the Money to Africa.”

Here’s an unintended consequence of Bank-think, however: if you do factor what it terms ‘natural capital’ into the national accounts, you find that when non-renewable resources are dug out of the soil, there should logically be a debit against genuine national savings (i.e. a decline in a country’s natural capital) instead of just a momentary credit to GDP.

Thus in many situations it becomes logical to leave resources in the ground (sacrilege!), especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, because since the commodity boom began in the early 2000s, according to another recent Bank report (The Changing Wealth of Nations), my home region has suffered negative genuine savings – ‘looting’ – mainly because of non-renewable resource decay in the context of resource-cursed neo-colonial politics.
Graph on Adjusted Net SavingI’ve had this argument with the Bank’s dogmatic chief Africa economist, Shanta Devarajan, and needn’t rehash it. Instead, let’s turn from Bank babble to listen to those at the base with more profound insights:‘Today, those who have created the ecological crisis talk of the Green Economy. For them, the Green Economy means appropriating the remaining resources of the planet for profit — from seed and biodiversity to land and water as well as our skills, such as the environmental services we provide. For us, the privatization and commodification of nature, her species, her ecosystems, and her ecosystem services cannot be part of a Green Economy, for such an approach cannot take into account our traditions. The resources of the Earth are for the welfare of all, not the profits of a few.’

Ukukhula koluhlaza okuhlanganisayo, noma ukumbiwa kokubolile okuluhlaza?
NguPatrick Bond Yahunyushwa nguFaith ka-Manzi

Inkulumompikiswano mayelana neMnotho Oluhlaza (Green Economy) isibhebhetheka ngenyanga ezayo eRio de Janeiro, emihlanganweni yeInternational Society for Ecological Economics meetings, the Cupulo dos Povos alternative people’s summit, and theUN’s Rio+20 Earth Summit. Abaqambi kanye nabagxeki bobungxiwankulu ‘beomnotho oluhlaza’ bayoshayisana ngamakhanda besenzisa amagama okubheka imvelaphi kanye nokusebenza ngokunosizo kwezimakethe.

Esehlela phansi kwinkulumompikiswano ehlukile encwadini yakhe iEco-Sufficiency & Global Justice, onguchwepheshe kwezombusazwe zemvelo osesikhungweni semfundo ephakeme eUniversity of Sydney uAriel Salleh uqaphhi ukwenziwa nxantathu kwamanani ezikweletu zenhlalakahle kuthatha indlela yokumba ngokwezelele, kwezomnotho kanye nekama(thermodynamic: 1) isikweletu sezenhlalakahle kubasebenzi abangakhokhelwa ngokwanele;2) kanye nokuhlanganisa isikweletu kubesifazane abanakekela abomndeni abangaphilile; bese 3) isikweletu sezemvelo esisuka kuyona kakhulu.’

Ngokuncane-nje, uma kubhekwana nalezizinkinga kudinga ukubuyekeza kabusha njengezikali zamaGDP ezinezinkinga, kanye nokwenza ngaphakathi ezemvelo kanye nezomphakathi. Lokhu kwenza indlela ehamba phambili yomqondo eyoletha izindlela zokukala amanani kanye nokuzuza. Lokhu kuyokwenza indlela eyoqala futhi igcine ukushitsha kwezezimali, ezokumbiwa, ezokukhiqiza, ezokuthutha kanye nokusabalalisa, ukuthenga kanye nezindlela yokulahla.

Kodwa isemzabalazweni woshintsho lapho sifunda khona ukuthi izimboni ezinamandla zibambelela kanjani ngokuqinile emalungelweni azo, futhi nokuthi yini ushintsho lwangempela lungeke lwenzeke ngaphandle kokuxakazisa kwezimali zezwe: ukusebenzisa lolwazi baze bakhulume iqiniso’, indlela endla eyayisetshenziswa ngochwepheshe bezomnotho.

IBhange lomhlaba lingenye yalezozimboni, engxenye ngoba indoda ezobe isiliphethe ngenyanga ezayo,uJim Yong Kim, ungumnikeli onentuthuko. Kuyiqiniso ukuqagela ukuthi uzofika nomkhuba kuleliBhange nomkhuba wakhona ‘wokukhuluma ilumi lwezishoshovu kodwa abhekelele ongxiwankulu’, okudala izinkulumompikiswano ezenza amakhanda ethu adidizele, ngenkathi ezohwebo ziqhubeka njengenhlalayenza.

Isibonelo esihle soshintsho sokudayisa ezemvelo kutholakala embikweni omusha waseBhange, iInclusive Green Growth. ‘Ukuqikelela kumele kwenziwe ukuqinisekisa ukuthi amadolobha kanye nemigwaqo, izimboni kanye namafamu enziwe, aphathwa, futhi alawulwa ngendlela enhle kwimikhiqizo yezemvelo ngenkathi kuxhaswa ukukhula ngamandla kwamazwe asafufusa asakudinga,’ kusho izisebenzi zeBhange ziholwa nguInger Andersen benoRachel Kyte, ukuze kube nomthelela ekukhuleni kwesikhashana kwezomnotho – ngenkathi futhi kuvikelwa ezemvelo.’

Ngempela, ezinye izinsiza akukhulunywa ngazo, njengoba abasebenzi baseBhange bengababuzi abatshali bezimali ngezinye izindlela zokuhweba ezimaqondana nokuhweba emhlabeni wonke, ezilanganisa amafutha asuke emoshiwe ngemikhumbi yokuhweba kanye nokuthutha ngamatruki.

Kodwa-ke iBhange alikwazi ukuthi ngesikhashana umqondo uma behlaziya: ‘Ukuthi ukwenza amanani okungaka akwanele ksho ezomnotho ezinobuhixihi ekufanele zibhekelelwe. Noma ngabe kwenza ukubhekelela ukuthola umhlaba kanye nemali yemboleko noma ukuthola amandla kagesi ashibhile kanye nezinsiza, ngisho nokuxhaswa kudala okwakho ukukhulunyelwa. Izimboni ezinkulu (eziphethe uhulumeni noma zangasese) zinamandla ezombusazwe kanye nendlela yokuzikhulumela. Izimboni ezihambisa kakhulu ezamandla, ngokwesiboniso-nje, zikhulumela ukunganyakaziswa kokuqhudelwana kwazo.’

Kungezeka iBhange likwenze elikushumayelayo ngokuqeda ukuxhasa ‘okungenele’, uma sesibhekana nokuthi ubudlelwane benziwa bube nedumela kanjani ukuze kusimamiswe iqhaza lokuxhasa ngezimali abezokumbiwa phansi? Uma iInclusive Green Growth iphikisa ngenkulumo ithi ‘‘Uhulumeni kufanele abhekane nokuzuzisa kakhulu ngoshintsho kwezenhlalakahle kanye nokuthi kube nesidingo sokuma babhekane namaqembu akhulumayo’, ngeke sikhohlwe iprpjekti okuyiyona enkulu kakhulu yeBhange yokubolekisa ngemali, iminyaka emibili edlule. UR29 wezigidigidi wemboleko wokwakha isizinda sokuphehla amalahle esingu4800 MW (eMedupi), futhi ngokusho kukamongameli ophumayo eBhange uRobert Zoellick kanye nozakwabo, ukuthi kwakubhekene nokusiza izakhamizi zaseNingizimu Afrika ezinhlwempu.

Empeleni inzuzo iya kakhulu ezindlini noma ezimbonini zokumbiwa phansi ezithola amandla kagesi ashibe kakhulu emhlabeni wonke (cishe amasenti angu7 ikhilowathi). Inani leMedupi kanye neKusile akukho-nje emahlombe abahlukunyezwa ukushintsha kwesimo sezulu (kanye cishe nabantu abaseAfrika abafika kwisigidi esingu180 sabafile kuleminyaka eyikhulu) kodwa kodwa futhi izakhamizi zaseNingizimu Afrika eseziswela amandla kagesi ngenxa yokunqnyulelwa wona, okuholela, ekutheni kube nemibhikisho eminingi kakhulu ukudlula umhlaba wonke ngoba ukuze kukhokhelwe iMedupi kanye neKusile, amanani amandla kagesi asenyuka ngamaphesenti angu100 kuleminyaka emine edlule.

Izinkulumompikiswano zeBhange ngeInclusive Green Growthnjalo zihlale njalo kuphindelwe ekwenzeni inzuzo: ‘Uma imvelo ibhekwa njengakhiqiza imali, kubonakala kunomqondo ukutshala imali kuyona, futhi imigomo yezemvelo ingabonakalo njengendlela yokuzuza.’

Inkulumo mayelana nezemvelo ukuthi kwenziwe izimali ngazo kuncike ngobungozi eduzane kwisikhundla abami kuzo laba abanobuhlanya ababeyizikhulu zeBhange uLarry Summers kanye noLant Pritchett, okwathi ngo1991 babhala umyaleo wabo awduma kabi kakhulu ngenkathi belungiselela ingqungquthela eayiseRio: Umqondo wezomnotho wezokulahla ukungcola okuyingozi emazweni ahlupheka kakhulu ikona okufanele kwenzeke futhi kufanele sibhekane nakho.’

Uma sibhekana nezokungcoliswa komoya ngaphandle kulula okunobuwula ngaphakathi kweBhange ezinkulumweni ezikhona zobungxiwankulu, zokulungisa inkinga yemakethe ngesixazululo semakethe. Ngokwesibonelo-nje, ‘Ungabikhona ngokwanele kwamalungelo ezimpahla olwandle kuholele ekutheni abantu badobe kakhulu – kokunye okube nemiphumela enzima kakhulu. Ukusebenzisa ukubala umuntu ngamunye kungalungisa lokukuhluleka kwemakethe, kunyuse okuphumela ngaphandle kanye nokuqasha embonini yofishi.’

Ukuphindela emuva kokukala kweBhange okujwayelekile – okubuye kwaziwe njengokuhweba ngesisisi esingcolisayo (phecelezi icap-and-trade)– kakhulu ezimakethe zesisisi ezingcolisa umoya, lapho ababhali bazo bevuma ukuthi kunamaphutha amakhulu ehlise kakhulu amanani lapho inani lethani lesisisi lisukela ku€35 kuya ku€7 eminyakeni eyisithupha. IBhange, elixhasa ukudayiswa kwesisisi esingcolisayo, liphawula kuphela okusolwa njengezinkinga ezimbalwa zeEuropean Union Emissions Trading Scheme, beziba ukugxekwa okunzulu okudalwa izimakethe zesisisi esingcolisayo, njengoba kwenzekile-nje njengesiboniso kumbiko wethu omusha, ‘AmaCDM awasoze aletha imali eAfrika’.

Nanko-ke umqondo owawungalindelwe yiBhange: uma wenza okwenzemvelo kwizimali zezwe, uthola ukuthi izinsiza ongakwazi ukubuye uzenze kabusha zimbiwa emhlabathini, kufanele kube khona isikweletu ekugcineni imali kwezwe (okusho ukuthi ukwehla kwezomnotho ovela ezweni) esikhundleni secredit yesikhashana yeGDP.

Ngakho-ke ezimweni eziningi (kuba nomqondo imikhiqizo yezwe emhlabathini (okuyinhlamba!), ikakhulukazi eNingizimu neAfrika, ngenxa yokuthi okuthengwayo kwaba nedumela kuqala iminyaka yo2000’s, ngokusho komunye umbiko maduze-nje weBhange (Ukuguquka Kwemicebo Yezizwe), isifundazwe sekhaya lami sihlupheke kakhulu ngokonga kabi kwangempela – ‘ukweba’ – ikakhulukazi kwizinsiza ezisengephinde zimile eziyisiqalekiso zokuqalwa kabusha kokubuswaa ngamazwe aphesheya.

Sengike ngaba nayo lenkulompikiswano nomhlaziyi wezonotho weBhange onguntamolukhuni, uShantaDevarajan, futhi angisiboni isidingo sokuyiqala phansi. Eskhundleni salokho asisukeni ekuhumeni kweBhange silalele labo abangaphansi abanemibono ejulile:

  • Njengenhlangano yabafama bomhlabaiVia Campesina;

  • Isizinda esizinze eRio iFASE Environmental Justice and Rights Center

  • ‘iQembu iETC ’ http//

  • Abamele ezabesifazane kwinhlangano yamahlathi omhlaba (World Rainforest Movement) http//

  • Izishoshovu ezinokuhlanganyela zaseJalimani eBUKO
  • and

  • Isimemezelo sabesifazane baseNingizimu neAsia (Dhaka Declaration of the South Asia Women’s Network), okuyibona amazwi abo okufanele ngigcine ngawo:

  • ‘Namhlanje, laba abadale izinkulumo zemvelo eziynkinga zoMnotho Oluhlaza. Kubona, uMnotho Oluhlaza uchaza ukusebenzisa izinsiza zemvelo zomhlaba ezisasele ngenzuzo –kusukela kwimbewu kanye nokuguquguqukq kuya emhlabeni kanye namanzi kanye namakhono ethu, njengezinsiza zemvelo esizilethayo. Kuthina,ukwenziwa ngasese kanye nokudayiswa kwemvelo, ngeke kube ingxenye yMnotho Oluhlaza, ngoba leyondlela ngeke ibhekelele imikhuba yethu. Okukhiqizwa umhlabaokwenhlalakahle kawonkewonke, hayi inzuzo yabambalwa.’

    UPatrick Bond ungumqondisi kwisizinda iCentre for Civil Society esikhungweni semfundo ephakeme eUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal.
    UFaith ka-Manzi umhumushi, imbongi, isishoshovu samalungelo esintu kanye nombhali ngaphansi kompheme weCentre for Civil Society.

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