Economics for the Earth

Our Economics for the Earth project aims to create a more environmentally sustainable and socially just world by transforming financial and economic systems. We work to redirect tax policies and public spending to make polluters pay for the costs of their pollution, and to drive the transition to a cleaner, low-carbon economy.

At home and abroad, we advocate for policies that minimize environmental and social harm and fund a brighter future. In the United States, we strengthen regulations to encourage sustainability in financial markets and fight trade policies that allow companies to run roughshod over the environment and human rights. We also work with allies around the world to alter lending practices at financial institutions such as the World Bank, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and Wall Street banks that fund polluting activities and harm communities in developing countries.

Earth Budget: prioritizing people, not polluters

Earth Budget

Our Earth Budget campaign seeks to end subsidies for polluting industries, ensure adequate funding for government to protect public health and the environment, make polluters pay for the damage caused by their pollution, and encourage investment in clean alternatives.

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Fair trade, not free trade

Fair trade not free trade

Friends of the Earth’s longstanding program on international trade seeks to educate the public and policymakers about the environmental dangers and undemocratic nature of trade agreements. We monitor existing trade and investment deals and currently are working to prevent the Trans-Pacific Partnership, known as the “NAFTA of the Pacific,” from being able to overturn laws that protect the environment.

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In order to reduce the oversized reach of big lobbying groups and corporate polluters, our election and campaign finance laws must reel in the unbridled influence of big money in politics. By prioritizing the voices of voters over corporations, politicians will be more likely to support environmental and public health initiatives.

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International climate finance -- funding solutions to climate change in developing countries

Climate change is already hurting our planet and its people. Flooding, drought, more intense storms, decreased food production, increasing water scarcity and greater vulnerability to disease are causing heightened suffering around the world. Although wealthy countries like the United States are most responsible for creating the climate crisis, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are paying the highest price -- in lives and livelihoods lost.

Developing countries need hundreds of billions of dollars every year to deal with climate change. Though cost estimates vary, the bottom line is that the less we do now, the more we will pay later. International climate finance is the provision of funds by developed countries for developing countries to take climate action. 

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International finance -- reforming financial institutions so they work for the public good

Ex-Im protest

We follow the money and work to curb harmful financing activities by the World Bank, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and other financial institutions. We seek to promote accountability and robust safeguards at the Green Climate Fund, which will provide public finance to developing nations to help them adapt to climate change.

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