06 April 2010

Subsidising planetary destruction

Or: read and weep. Or: why am I not surprised?:
EU subsidy payments are helping to fund the overfishing of depleted stocks such as cod and bluefin tuna, according to new research. The Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management consultancy and Pew Environment Group analysed data from the EU's 'Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance', which paid almost £4 billion in fishing subsidies between 2000-2006. EU subsidies linked to overfishing, 'The Ecologist', 31 March
The good news is that:
17 per cent of the subsidy payments went towards measures that would clearly result in a reduced fishing capacity ....
The bad news is that:
29 per cent helped to fund what the study defined as 'negative measures', including modernising the fleet and constructing new and more powerful fishing vessels.
And the ugly news is that:
The study's authors said they were stopped from analysing the funding from current subsidy scheme, the European Fisheries Fund (EFF), running from 2007-2013, because of new EU disclosure rules. 'Transparency has been removed with the new funding instrument....' said Markus Knigge, policy and research director at the Pew Environment Group.
This sums up all we really need to know about policymaking today. The only outcomes our political class is concerned about are the short-term ones favoured by corporations and lobbyists. When the disastrous nature of their policies threatens to become public, their first instinct is to suppress further investigation. It's a self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing system. It's corrupt and it's insane. Social Policy Bonds would not be perfect. But, with their targeting of transparent, explicit, meaningful goals, they would be far better than the system we have today, under which we are not only destroying the planet, we are subsidising its destruction.

No comments: