Responding to the Dasgupta Review on ‘The Economics of Biodiversity’, which was published earlier in the year, the UK government agreed with the review’s central conclusion that nature, and the biodiversity that underpins it, ultimately sustains economies, livelihoods and well-being.
British Indian economist Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta had conducted a review into how to prepare a global balance sheet that takes nature into account.
The UK’s said this week that it is committed to delivering 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.
Kemi Badenoch, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The government has an ambitious nature agenda and our response to the independent Dasgupta Review sets out the ways in which the government will go further to ensure our economy supports nature and wildlife – from infrastructure at home to bilateral aid spending overseas.
“In this crucial year for international action to address biodiversity loss, the UK will continue to ensure the natural environment remains at the top of the international agenda.”
New Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects in England, such as future transport and energy projects, will as a result need to provide a net gain in biodiversity and habitats for wildlife – through an amendment to be made to the Bill. In parallel, as part of its ambition to be the one of the most environmentally responsible infrastructure projects ever delivered in the UK, HS2 – Europe’s largest infrastructure project – will aim to deliver a net gain in biodiversity on its Crewe-Manchester leg.
The government has also committed to ensuring all new UK bilateral aid spending does no harm to nature.
MORE LIKE THIS…
UK Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “If we want to realise the aspiration set out in Professor Dasgupta’s landmark Review to rebalance humanity’s relationship with nature, then we need policies that will both protect and enhance the supply of our natural assets.
“This is what lies at the heart of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, and our new measures to embed biodiversity net gain further in the planning system for major infrastructure, through our landmark Environment Bill.
“It’s also behind our approach to future farming policy and other initiatives such as £3 billion for climate change solutions that restore nature globally and our new due diligence law to clean up our supply chains and help tackle illegal deforestation.”
G7 leaders also agreed plans to transform the financing of infrastructure projects in developing countries – the ‘Build Back Better for the World’ plan – bringing together under the UK’s presidency to develop an offer for high quality financing for vital infrastructure, from railways in Africa to wind farms in Asia.