UK Business and Biodiversity Forum
Our Chairman, David Hill, attended a fascinating meeting of the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum on Monday 6th December. The meeting was also hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the key speaker, Lord Zac Goldsmith, set out the Government’s ambitions for tackling biodiversity loss. He reiterated that we cannot deal with the impacts of climate change without also tackling biodiversity loss – repairing the natural world is critical to maintaining livelihoods and business. Biodiversity is at the very centre of the existential threat debate. The meeting emphasised the importance of corporates becoming Nature Positive – and quickly. Chris Southworth of ICC stressed that unsustainable trade is behind the biodiversity crisis and that ESG is now the only game in town in the corporate boardroom, and rightly so.
Defra and Natural England have played, and continue to play, a key role in developing the whole framework for securing private investment into nature-based solutions, biodiversity restoration, ecosystem service repair and enhancement of natural capital. We applaud their work – only by building a framework that enables the private sector to engage in financing and developing markets in ecosystem function will we be able to deliver nature restoration at sufficient scale to be impactful. Corporates will soon need to disclose, reduce and then offset the residual impacts of their businesses on natural capital in order to prove to investment fund managers that they have de-risked their businesses. This will generate a substantial market for biodiversity restoration programmes. At Environment Bank we are investing now in land-based management interventions to restore nature, making available projects for investment by the corporate sector.