The economic case for global action to stop the destruction of the natural world is even more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, a major report for the United Nations will declare this summer.
The Stern report on climate change, which was prepared for the UK Treasury and published in 2007, famously claimed that the cost of limiting climate change would be around 1 per cent -2 per cent of annual global wealth, but the longer-term economic benefits would be 5-20 times that figure.
The UN’s biodiversity report — dubbed the Stern for Nature — is expected to say that the value of saving “natural goods and services”, such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher — between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the
habitats and species which provide them.
The UN report’s authors say if the goods and services provided by the natural world are not valued and factored into the global economic system, the environment will become more fragile and less resilient to shocks, risking human lives, livelihoods and the global economy.