Deep Equity, Nonzero-Sum Environmentalism, and a Sustainable Planet
Ch. 6 of Beyond Zero-Sum Environmentalism. Sarah Krakoff, Melissa Powers, & Jonathan Rosenbloom, eds. Environmental Law Institute, 2019.
22 Pages Posted: 17 May 2019 Last revised: 6 Oct 2019
Date Written: April 19, 2019
I describe how REDD+, Biodiversity Offsetting, and Water as Ecological Infrastructure present nonzero-sum solutions to environmental problems, and broaden the way we frame the problems in the first place. In these three areas where I research, stakeholders blur the boundaries between "winners and losers," expand the currencies by which wins and losses might be calculated, purport to manage the planet not simply as a garden to be exploited for human needs nor as an untrammeled wilderness but some blend thereof, and find justice in having someone pay for broader gains to a broader range of "winners." After outlining what "sustainability" and "deep equity" mean, I explore that the devil always lies in the fine print of how programs are implemented in law and in practice: but if done well, biodiversity offsetting, REDD+, and managing water as ecological infrastructure lead us away from dualistic zero-sum thinking about environmental problems and lead us to more holistic, equitable visions of a shared future on a sustainable planet.
Keywords: REDD+, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Offsetting, Sustainability, Environmental Law, International Environmental Law, Water Law, Ecological Infrastructure
JEL Classification: Q
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation