“Nature provides human society with a vast diversity of benefits such as food, fibres fuel, clean water, healthy soil, protection from floods, protection from soil erosion, medicines, storing carbon (important in the fight against climate change) and many more. Though our wellbeing is totally dependent upon these ecosystem services they are predominantly public goods with no markets and no prices, so they often are not detected by our current economic compass”. So begins an important new report on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). Crucially, this document begins to develop an economic yardstick that is more effective than GDP for assessing the performance of an economy. “We are consuming the world’s biodiverse ecosystem at an unsustainable rate and this is starting to have serious socio-economic impacts”, say the authors, led by Deutsche Bank economist Pavan Sukhdev. He went on, “we are trying to navigate uncharted and turbulent waters with an old and defective economic compass and that this was affecting our ability to forge a sustainable economy in harmony with nature.” The TEEB review is modelled on the UK government’s Stern review of climate change which in 2006 warned that the global economy would effectively collapse if countries did not address greenhouse gases, and that countries could not afford not to act.
Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
July 29th, 2022
July 11th, 2011