New report finds GBP97bn of additional investment needed over next decade to meet UK’s nature-related ambitions
A new report has revealed a GBP97 billion investment gap to secure key nature-related outcomes in the UK – such as biodiversity protection and restoration – to be between GBP44 billion and GBP97 billion over the next 10 years.
Commissioned by the Green Finance Institute, the analysis highlights the need for private investment in addition to public sector funding, for the UK to meet its net zero and nature-positive ambitions.
The Finance Gap for UK Nature report outlines the gap between required spending and committed spending associated with the delivery of nature-related outcomes across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the UK’s Overseas Territories over the next 10, 20 and 30 years. The largest gap regionally lies within England (GBP21 - GBP53 billion over 10 years).
The largest gaps specific to outcomes lie within climate mitigation through biocarbon (GBP20 billion over 10 years) and the protection and restoration of biodiversity (GBP19 billion over 10 years) - the latter of which accounts for investment in coverage of protected areas, managing pressures on habitats, increasing species’ abundance and reversing losses covering both terrestrial and marine biodiversity.
The Green Finance Institute commissioned environmental economics consultancy, eftec, to identify the extent to which private investment is required to meet the UK’s net zero and nature-positive ambitions by investing in nature-enhancing projects. The report now provides the information to understand the scale of investment needed and where investors need to focus.
Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, CEO, Green Finance Institute, says: “The data is conclusive that public investment - even if funding commitments increase - will not be enough to fund the UK’s nature recovery ambitions. Private investment is therefore urgently required in addition to public sector funding if we hope to transition to a net zero and nature-positive economy.”
“Having identified the scale of investment needed, and where it is needed, we must now focus on unlocking barriers to the mobilisation of private finance into nature-positive projects and businesses right across the UK. Harnessing the momentum of the Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 and COP26, there is an opportunity to create high integrity environmental markets and investment opportunities that work for nature, society and the economy to help close this UK finance gap.”
Helen Avery, Head of Nature Programmes, Green Finance Institute, says: “Armed with this data and drawing on the recommendations of the upcoming Financing UK Nature Recovery Coalition report, the Green Finance Institute will be looking to work with the UK finance sector in addition to other key stakeholders to identify the barriers to private capital for priority nature-positive outcomes, and to develop practical solutions to support the growth of investment in nature in the UK.”