ECONOMICS OF BIODIVERSITY
Centre contributes to the Dasgupta Review
Groundbreaking UK Treasury report claims new financial measurements beyond GDP are needed to avoid catastrophic consequences for our economies and wellbeing
- Our economies, livelihoods and wellbeing all depend on nature
- The Dasgupta review says the world is being put at “extreme risk” by the failure of economics to take account of the rapid depletion of the natural world
- Centre chair Carl Folke was a reviewer
"A FAULTY APPLICATION OF ECONOMICS": Unless we change how we think, act and measure economic success we will be unable to protect our prosperity and the natural world. This is the stark message of the Dasgupta review, a landmark report commissioned by the UK Treasury.
Biodiversity is declining faster than at any time in human history. Led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, the report urges that reform of the measurement of economic success is needed to avoid catastrophic consequences for our economies and wellbeing.
It says that a new economic framework grounded in ecology would enable humanity to live on Earth sustainably.
Accounting for natural capital
Grounded in a deep understanding of the relationship between ecosystem processes and human economic activity, the 600-page review is visibly guided by the centre’s groundbreaking work on planetary boundaries and biosphere stewardship.
It is also strongly linked to the work Natural Capital Project, a centre partnership with Stanford University.
The use of GDP “is based on a faulty application of economics”, it says, because it measures the flow of money, not the sock of national assets. Introducing natural capital into national accounting systems would be a critical step.
“NatCap” researchers have been involved with the review at almost all stages, including centre chair Carl Folke as a reviewer.
Exacerbating the biodiversity crisis
“The Dasgupta review is a profoundly important and timely effort,” says Folke. “It clarifies that the economy and our societies are part of and embedded within the biosphere, and strongly dependent on the work of nature for our wellbeing, development and prosperity.
Commissioned by the UK Treasury, it is the first time a national finance ministry has authorised a full assessment of the economic importance of nature. The report said almost all governments were exacerbating the biodiversity crisis by paying people more to exploit nature than to protect it.
“The Dasgupta review shows that the challenges are broader than climate change alone, and that active stewardship of biosphere resilience is critical for our own future on planet Earth,” concludes Folke.
Research news | 2021-10-16
Centre receives substantial research funding on sustainable food production
IKEA Foundation grants 30 million SEK for continued research on more sustainable and just food systems. Gullspång Invest and its subsidiary Gullspång Re:food contribute additional 5 million SEK
Research news | 2021-10-16
Beatrice Crona appointed professor in sustainability science
Deputy science director selected for newly established professorship in sustainability science with focus on sustainable food systems
Research news | 2021-10-11
Low exposure to green areas may lead to higher rates of COVID-19 cases
New analysis links COVID-19 to nature inequity, showing communities of color face starkest burden
Research news | 2021-10-04
How cities play a crucial role in the transition to a carbon-free world
In connection with World Habitat Day, centre experts explain why cities are at the centre of planetary efforts to reduce our carbon footprint
Educational news | 2021-09-30
New MOOC on how to deal with the climate crisis
Learn how to drive the social change that is fundamentally required for an effective response to climate change
Research news | 2021-09-29
Ready for anything
Centre theme leader Cibele Queiroz explains why diversity is important in turbulent times