Nature is a fundamental - and fundamentally underappreciated - part of the economy and human wellbeing. But what if we valued it differently?
Every economy, at every stage of development, is reliant on resources and ecosystems provided and sustained by the environment. The World Economic Forum has estimated that US$44 trillion – more than half the world’s economic output – is moderately or highly dependent on nature.
But right now, natural resources are being extracted faster than they can be
restored and are being used to provide goods and services which result in
harmful waste products such as carbon emissions and plastic packaging.
By presenting natural assets as ‘capital’, it becomes clearer to see how the
environment is comprised of finite stocks which may be invested in to generate
value or degraded to deplete value. For this reason, natural capital is an
attempt to better convey the true value of nature and an untapped market
opportunity rooted in truly sustainable returns.
With this basis, we can create a new vision for the global economy, which is
transparent, inclusive and ecologically sustainable. The growing ecological
deficit can be addressed by mobilising investment into the conservation,
sustainable management and restoration of natural capital assets.
The time has come to bank on natural capital.