Image courtesy of Treehugger


As mentioned in one of last week’s blogs, the United Nations (UN) encouraged individuals around the globe to vote for the future they want. The online ballot allowed users to choose from 10 choices in each of the ten focus areas of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20. The results were shared with delegates participating in the Rio+20 Dialogues, which began on June 13th and will end on June 22nd.

The Future We Want

The top results for each of the ten categories are as follows:

  1. Take concrete steps to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies
  2. Restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020
  3. Secure water supply by protecting biodiversity, ecosystems and water sources
  4. Promote food systems that are sustainable and contribute to improvement of health
  5. Avoid ocean pollution by plastics through education and community collaboration
  6. Promote global education to eradicate poverty and to achieve sustainable development
  7. Promote the use of waste as a renewable energy source in urban environments
  8. Phase out harmful subsidies and develop green tax schemes
  9. Put education in the core of Sustainable Development Goals agenda
  10. Promote tax reforms that encourage environmental protection and benefit the poor

These ideas are definitely a step in the right direction to create a more sustainable, socially just planet, yet they hold one fatal flaw: “green tax schemes”. A commodified nature is not the future we want, as it will not halt pollution and the destruction of nature in any significant way.

No Green Taxation without Representation!

One of the big problems with the Green Economy begins with the fact that its name is a misnomer. There is nothing green about allowing Nature’s natural processes to be bought and sold on a market, or a company being able to continue to release toxins into the air as long as it buys a plot of trees somewhere. Thus, the Green Economy violates the Rights of Nature by failing to treat Mother Nature as a living being as well as allowing direct harm to be inflicted upon her. Rights of Nature is a better alternative to the Green Economy because it grants Mother Nature the right to exist free of poor treatment and to sustain its necessary processes. It also prevents vital things, like water, from having a price tag placed on them, allowing the poor access to what should be common goods.

Donating to The Pachamama Alliance is a great way to take action to support the Rights of Nature by through the work that we do to preserve nature and encourage sustainable lifestyles. The Pachamama Alliance is a strong advocate for the Rights of Nature, and was a large driving force behind making them a part of Ecuador’s constitution. One day, we hope every country will adopt Rights of Nature into law!