Government advisers call for plan to account for ‘natural capital’.

Natural Capital Committee News March 18th-1An independent government advisory body has argued that the UK needs a 25-year plan to take better account of the value provided by nature and reverse the decline in the UK environment The Natural Capital Committee (NCC) report claims that current policy on the natural environment is not cost effective and has not worked. It concludes that action must be taken to “put the economy on a sustainable footing within a generation” and that “most of our natural assets will need sustained action to restore and improve them.” It calls on the government to endorse a long term natural capital plan through collaboration between government, businesses and wider society which will better integrate costs and benefits into government policy development and decision-making.

The NCC was set up following the 2011 Natural Environment White Paper and this report builds on its ‘State of the Nation’ report published in April 2013, which presented evidence that better valuation and management of natural capital can secure significant economic and wellbeing benefits. Since that report the NCC has been developing metrics and a register for natural assets and piloting natural capital accounts with businesses with the aim of creating the first set of national natural capital accounts by 2020. By measuring the economic value of natural capital, the NCC hopes it will be easier to factor it into long-term decision-making. This has raised controversy, with some green campaigners arguing that the approach prices up the environment and implies nature can be bought and sold. NCC committee chair Dr Dieter Helm maintains however that measuring natural capital will open up opportunities for businesses and will help to highlight threats to the natural environment prior to implementation of the National Infrastructure Plan.

Read the full report.

Permanent link to this article: http://ccgi.edginton.plus.com/government-advisers-call-for-plan-to-account-for-natural-capital/