The UK Government has upped its climate commitments in response to the seminal Dasgupta Review. The report – the first of its kind – was commissioned by the government in 2019 and published February this year. Findings from Cambridge university economist Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta concluded that an overall governmental failure to account for environmental wellbeing has come at a ‘devastating cost’ to biodiversity and ecosystems.
As a result, the Government declared it would now pursue a ‘nature-positive future’.
In a statement, Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “If we want to realise the aspiration set out in Professor Dasgupta’s landmark Review to rebalance humanity’s relationship with nature, then we need policies that will both protect and enhance the supply of our natural assets.”
As part of this, all large infrastructure projects are to provide a net gain to the surrounding environment, and land is to be left in a better state than pre-development. Additionally, the Government is to channel up to £3m into developing the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures framework – an initiative intended to help businesses navigate nature-related risks. The Government is also anticipated to join the OECD Paris Collaborative on green budgeting – a scheme established to advise and encourage the integration of green considerations into financial planning.
Biodiversity and environmental safety are also to be more closely integrated into existing regulations and policies – such as the UK Government Green Financing Framework.
The Prime Minister also launched the UK’s £500m Blue Planet Fund – helping to target unsustainable fishing practices in countries such as Indonesia and Ghana, as well as restore marine ecosystems.
The response followed on the heels of the G7 summit, which took place in Cornwall between June 11th-13th. The summit concluded with participating nations reaffirming their commitment to a cleaner future, reducing rising global temperatures to 1.5C, and to restoring 30% of the natural world by 2030. There have, however, already been rumbles of concern over the lack of appropriate financial backing to achieve this goal- falling short of the £100bn per year needed.