We have engineered an abundance of brilliant things from the resources we find on this planet, but it has put us into a self-destructive cycle.
Look outside your window. How much of what you see is nature vs. human-made?
Chances are, a majority is considered ‘human-made’. Your window, the buildings next to yours, the power lines swaying above, all of it is created from nature: the wooden window frame, the concrete a mixture of calcium, iron, and sand, and the power lines carrying electrons through copper and aluminum wires scraped from the crust of this Earth.
The WiFi signal you are reading this on is transmitted by routers contrived from oil, silicon, rubber, and zinc.
We have engineered an abundance of brilliant (and just as many not so brilliant) things from the ingredients we find on this planet. Even more, we rely on these ingredients for our well-being, safety, and – for lack of a better term – wealth.
44 trillion US dollars worth of economic value generation is dependent on nature and its services, find the World Economic Forum and PwC. As a result, half of the world’s total GDP is exposed to risks from nature loss. The construction ($4 trillion), agriculture ($2.5 trillion) and food and beverages ($1.4 trillion) industries are most susceptible to these risks.
Evaluating these risks accurately and rewarding mitigation parallels the mechanics of the natural capital we have explored in our pieces on carbon accounting and carbon markets. Natural capital includes vegetation, animals, oceans, beaches, air, etc. It is something to be preserved and enhanced, rather than spent freely. This natural capital needs carbon dioxide levels to be in check, but also biodiversity to thrive.
All of this is old news.
Yet, with renewed spirit and endeavor in the climate tech and impact space come new opportunities for innovative solutions to valuing, preserving, restoring, and nourishing biodiversity.
The economics work out: every single dollar invested into restoration creates up to 30$ in economic benefits. With ecosystem accounting on the rise, structures are being established for a thriving market around biodiversity that can repair and enhance the natural capital we so desperately depend on.
Who will be the entrepreneurs and startups to help build this market?