Image: Dasgupta Review
The landmark Dasgupta Review on the economics of biodiversity highlights the critical role nature plays in supporting healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving businesses, while simultaneously painting a clear picture of what we stand to lose. It calls for a fundamental change in how we think about and approach economics is needed if we are to reverse biodiversity loss and protect and enhance our prosperity.
Some key points of the review show how ecosystems face critical tipping points, extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times higher than they were 100 years ago, and per-person stocks of natural capital dropped nearly 40% between 1992 and 2014.
To set the planet on track towards nature-positivity, we must strive for what the Review refers to as “Impact Equality”, by closing the gap between our ecological footprint and what the biosphere can supply. According to the Global Footprint Network, we need 1.6 Earths to ‘satisfy our current demand on a sustainable basis’.
Businesses have a critical role to play in closing this gap and must commit and act now to become net-zero and nature-positive across their value chains. But voluntary actions on their own are not enough and won’t achieve the change scientists tell us is necessary to mitigate climate change and thrive within nature’s limits.