For decades, it has been an academic exercise that our society creates negative externalities without a mechanism to correct or neutralize those externalities. Poor air quality from smoke stack emissions or poor water quality from toxic effluents. These are damaging byproducts of enterprise that are not reflected in the cost of doing business.
Those costs are paid by everyone. At Bank of Nature, we consider internalizing externalities, and accounting for those cumulative damages by society, as a cost of doing business in nature. Through Bank of Nature, we want to put into practice a way for society’s damaging externalities to be offset be reinvestments in nature, just like paying off a mortgage or a car loan. For the largest companies in the world, the cost of doing business in nature could be many billions per year that could be reinvested in nature. It, of course, relies on policy to enforce such an offset payment. Or, it could rely on a legal threat. By not internalizing externalities and contributing to the destruction of nature today, contemporary business and government leave themselves open to future claims.
Bank of Nature will explore both policy and new law as we embody a “safer alternative path” toward endgame sustainability.
The conflict with nature today that is characterized most dramatically by a climate crisis is driven by scarcity economics and the conventional wisdom of maximizing profits by minimizing costs. Most often, that means exporting human and natural capital, with the cumulative effect of social and environmental strife.
The current practice of externalizing externalities to maximize profit is especially important to public corporations, with the legal to maximize shareholder value, and governments to show economic growth. This is what puts industry and government in direct economic conflict with the value and growth-draining potential of climate remedies at scale. This explains inaction on climate at scale.
Internalized externalities rights a lot of wrongs because it corrects for the true cost of this society in nature, the source of society’s wellbeing for the time being.
Bank of Nature will use fiduciary money to address this practice of ignoring externalities, by making it part of our negotiated agreements with enterprises benefiting from the stewardship of fiduciary owners.