This week in Natural Capital


15-19 September, by Anna Heuberger

Tackling Climate Change and economic growth can go hand in hand- It is time to act!

A new report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate was released on the 16th of September stating that we still have time to adapt to climate change and pointing out ways how to combine economic growth with taking measures against climate change. The report makes clear that even though it is not too late to react to the challenges climate changes poses, the time global economy needs to be transformed is in the next 15 years.

One important topic in the report is the need for change in land use management, including the protection of forests. According to the report restoring forests is an important aspect towards a more resilient and sustainable economy for a variety of reasons. Besides producing oxygen and creating climate benefits by storing carbon dioxide emissions forests are also “a key part of feeding the world by making agricultural landscapes more resilient.

Nevertheless Deforestation and forest Degradation continue in many parts of the world. The report blames this destructive approach on a lack of information, a lack of accountability, and in some places, corruption and powerful vested interests.

Most of these barriers could already be battled with existing tools.

In future Payments for Ecosystem Services and the increasing importance of a carbon market could end Deforestation and forest Degradation by enhancing the economic value of the forest’s natural capital.
New technology already provides detailed information and therefore offers a better basis for accountability. The platform Global Forest Watch for example provides an interactive, dynamic map monitoring the world’s forests with information drawn from satellite technology, crowdsourcing and open data.

Corruption and powerful vested interests remain. We need political incentives to overcome these blockades. This weekend thousands of people will roam the streets around the world calling for action towards battling climate change. It is time to mobilize the initiatives we need.

Other headlines

Policy Making

BSR, September, 2014
Report on Integrating Ecosystem Services into Investor Due Diligence & Corporate Management
More here

Climate Change

Climate change remedies ‘affordable’, says global body
BBC, 16 September, 2014
Politicians will put the world economy at risk if they fail to tackle climate change, a global commission has warned.The report says adding 5% to the $6 trillion (£3.7tn; 4.6tn euros) a year due to be spent on power and transport projects could buy clean technology. More here

Seven things we learned from Lord Stern’s New Climate Economy report
The Guardian, 16 September, 2014
A major new report says the world can tackle climate change without harming economic growth.Here’s the digested read. More here

Scientists turn to Pope Francis and world’s religions to save the planet
The Telegraph, 18 September, 2014
Forget past arguments over Darwin or Galileo – scientists set sights on unlikely alliance with the world’s religious leaders to combat climate change.
More here


This weekly blog has the purpose to summarize and collect important stories and news on Natural Capital..
By Anna Heuberger, TEEB Communications and Outreach



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