17.May - 19:20



The Future of Water - From a Human Right to a Tradeable Commodity

On December 7, 2020, CME Group - the world's leading derivatives marketplace - released the world's first "futures contract" for trading water. So-called futures or forward contracts have long existed for gold, oil, wheat and soybeans. They act as a risk management tool by assuring sellers that they will be able to buy an agreed quantity of the commodity at a predetermined price on a fixed date in the future. According to the CME, the goal is to help water users - especially farmers - manage their risk and better balance the demands on water supply and demand that will become increasingly difficult to assess in the future due to weather extremes. However, water futures have also been criticized because it was only ten years ago that the UN General Assembly recognized clean drinking water as a human right. The consequences of trading in water futures are not yet foreseeable. Critics and environmental activists fear a repetition of the speculative bubble of the food market in 2007/2008. So what happens when the most essential raw material on earth, a globally recognized human right, becomes an object of speculation on the financial market?