The State of Natural Capital Report, published in April this year, was recently discussed in Parliament. Prepared by the Natural Capital Committee, an independent advisory body, the key messages of the report are:
- Natural capital assets are in decline and these trends should be measured
- Changes in natural capital should be properly included in national and corporate accounts.
- Changes in natural capital should be properly valued and those values more effectively included in decision-making processes.
- Stewardship of natural capital is good for growth
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and formerly leader of the Green Party helped to spark an interesting debate in Parliament on 21 October with her comments:
“Oscar Wilde famously spoke of those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If valuing nature in the way suggested will halt the current decline of our precious wildlife and habitats, it is to be welcomed, but does the hon. Gentleman agree that we need very strong safeguards, including in the planning system, to ensure that by putting a pound sign on priceless ecosystems such as ancient woodlands we do not inadvertently open the door to their destruction?”