Ecosystem Services and the Law of Value
A Hypothesis

by Larry Lohmann

first published 24 June 2016

The rise of ecosystem services presents both the necessity and the opportunity to rethink issues of capital and nature. A presentation from a Cambridge University conference entitled “Rights to Nature: Tracing Alternative Political Ecologies against the Neoliberal Environmental Agenda”, organized by Elia Apostolopoulou and Jose Cortes-Vazquez, addresses two of these issues in particular. First, what, if any, role do the novel transactions in ecosystem services that have emerged since the 1970s play in capital accumulation, and why have they emerged now? Second, can a better understanding of the place of ecosystem-service transactions in today's processes of capital accumulation help strengthen alliances between, on the one hand, struggles contesting, evading, complicating, or interfering with ecosystem-service transactions and, on the other, labour struggles, anti-extraction struggles, and other struggles also interpreted as “anticapitalist”?

The powerpoint is available from The Corner House upon request.