Although it is important for the business world to go faster in incorporating the environmental aspect, the attempt to politically instrumentalize the environmental issue cannot be ignored.
Before beginning the discussion of a new Constitution and in the context of growing pressures derived from climate change, it is worth asking ourselves about the environmental visions that will be incorporated into the country’s legal system.
Since the Brundtland Report in 1987, the balance between the environmental, social and economic dimensions has been the global paradigm for what is now sustainable development, which requires considering environmental and social aspects, in addition to mere economic growth.
Environmental sectors had the merit of incorporating the environment into the official understanding of development although paradoxically they do not fully accept this concept and in some cases adhere to the philosophy of deep ecology, which considers the human being subject to nature instead of in command her.
Climate change has become an increasingly important issue in the world and has accentuated environmental pressure. A concept that has again gained ground the old idea of extractivism (or neo-extractivism), promoted by the Uruguayan Eduardo Gudynas. To environmental issues, this ideology adds components close to the Latin American theories of structuralism and dependency, by criticizing the “primary” productive structure of underdeveloped countries (few industrial transformation processes), as a cause of their disproportionate position in the world system.
This discussion becomes very relevant for Chile at the present time. It is not difficult to realize that for many years the environmentalist vision, and increasingly neo-extractivism, has been positioning itself and influencing the country’s decisions. The tenacious opposition to investment projects is already a fact of the cause and the glacier law could advance with a restrictive framework incompatible with productive activity. The industrialization of lithium is a subject of wide repercussion in the popular ideology and the future of the copper smelters could not be resolved due to indefiniteness in what the country wants to do in this productive stage.
Although it is important for the business world to go faster in incorporating the environmental aspect, the attempt to politically instrumentalize the environmental issue cannot be ignored. The constitutional debate that is coming must adequately weigh the environmental variable to avoid falling into restrictions that make the reasonable exploitation of natural resources unfeasible that a country like Chile cannot ignore
Juan Carlos Guajardo – Executive Director of Plusmining