On 2 February, the UK Government launched the Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity. The report is available in full, as a summary and as headline messages:
This independent review was commissioned by the UK Treasury to shape the international response to biodiversity loss and inform global action.
The Dasgupta Review is an independent, global review on the Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta (Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge). The Review was commissioned in 2019 by HM Treasury and has been supported by an Advisory Panel drawn from public policy, science, economics, finance and business.
The Dasgupta Review sets out a new framework, grounded in ecology and Earth Sciences, yet applying the principles from finance and economics to understand the sustainability of our interaction with nature and prioritize efforts to enhance nature and prosperity.
Fundamentally, the Dasgupta Review develops the economics of biodiversity on the understanding that we, and our economies, are embedded within nature- not external to it. There has been an institutional failure to account for the externalities nature provides. One of the solution areas identified by the Review is the need to change our measures of economic success. Moving to inclusive wealth, which measures all capital assets (ie. human capital, produced capital, and natural capital) as the aggregate value of a country’s economic success, is a necessary step that will allow the world to return to a path of prosperity that operates within planetary boundaries.
- Our economies, livelihoods and well-being all depend on our most precious asset: Nature.
- We have collectively failed to engage with Nature sustainably, to the extent that our demands far exceed its capacity to supply us with the goods and services we all rely on.
- Our unsustainable engagement with Nature is endangering the prosperity of current and future generations.
- At the heart of the problem lies deep-rooted, widespread institutional failure.
- The solution starts with understanding and accepting a simple truth: our economies are embedded within Nature, not external to it.
- We need to change how we think, act and measure success.
(i) Ensure that our demands on Nature do not exceed its supply, and that we increase Nature’s supply relative to its current level.
(ii) Change our measures of economic success to guide us on a more sustainable path.
(iii) Transform our institutions and systems – in particular our finance and education systems – to enable these changes and sustain them for future generations.
- Transformative change is possible – we and our descendants deserve nothing less.