Today, in the wake of the G7 Summit in Cornwall, the Government has announced its response to the Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity.
In his February 2021 Report, commissioned by HM Treasury in 2019, Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta stated “Truly sustainable economic growth and development means recognising that our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them. It also means accounting fully for the impact of our interactions with nature. Covid-19 has shown us what can happen when we don’t do this.”
The main takeaway from this morning’s announcement was the government’s commitment to a ‘nature positive’ future “in which we leave the environment in a better state than we found it and ensure economic and financial decision-making is geared towards delivering that”.
The government also announced an intention to table an amendment to the Environment Bill that would require major infrastructure projects to provide a net gain in biodiversity and wildlife.
Dr Stephanie Wray, Mammal Society Chair said “By extending net gain to major infrastructure schemes we hope that the approach will be broadened out to encompass a fuller appreciation of Britain’s biodiversity and not limit it to a simple habitat-based metric.”
In today’s response to the government also committed to:
- £3 million additional support to the development of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures framework – a market-led initiative which will support business in assessing emerging nature-related risks and opportunities
- working with the Office for National Statistics to improve the way nature is incorporated into our national accounts
- further improving Government guidance for embedding environmental considerations into policy-making processes
- incorporating biodiversity into the UK Government Green Financing Framework
- joining the OECD Paris Collaborative on green budgeting, an initiative to encourage governments to incorporate climate and environmental considerations into their financial and fiscal decisions
The Mammal Society welcomes the government’s commitment to a ‘nature positive future’ and recognises that the implications of the commitment are far reaching for society. With one quarter of Britain’s mammals at risk of extinction in the near future (Red List of Britain’s Mammals), the time for decisive action is now.
Read the full Dasgupta report here.
Read the Government response in full here.
Photograph: Leisler’s bat (near threatened) by Daniel Hargreaves