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WEF Report Makes Case for Nature-positive Economy

  • The report argues for “a fundamental transformation” across the socioeconomic systems of: food, land, and ocean use; infrastructure and the built environment; and extractives and energy.
  • It notes, however, that USD 2.7 trillion per year through to 2030 will be needed to scale the transitions, including deployment of the technological innovation critical to 80% of the business opportunity value identified.

 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a report warning that over half of the global gross domestic product (GDP) is potentially threatened by nature loss. The report argues that 15 systemic transitions across three socioeconomic systems could create annual business opportunities worth USD 10 trillion and 395 million jobs by 2030.

The report titled, ‘The Future of Nature and Business,’ states that there is “no future for business as usual.” It finds that while fighting climate change is essential, it is “not enough,” and “a fundamental transformation” is needed across the socioeconomic systems of: food, land, and ocean use; infrastructure and the built environment; and extractives and energy. These systems, the report notes, represent over a third of the global economy and provide up to two-thirds of all jobs. They also drive the threats which endanger almost 80% of the total threatened and near-threatened species.

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic is a “stark reminder” that ignoring biophysical risks can have “catastrophic health and economic impacts at the global scale,” the report calls for recovery efforts to address the planetary crises of climate change and nature loss in a way that would “build back better” and avoid “an unsustainable and dangerous business-as-usual approach.”

The report identifies 15 systemic transitions that can “pave the way towards a people- and nature-positive development that will be resilient to future shocks.” It notes, however, that USD 2.7 trillion per year through to 2030 will be needed to scale the transitions, including deployment of the technological innovation critical to 80% of the business opportunity value identified in the report.

The publication, prepared in collaboration with AlphaBeta, is the second of three reports in the WEF’s New Nature Economy series. Its findings inform the working priorities of the Champions for Nature, a community of leaders working towards a nature-positive global economy, and feed into a Policy Companion report which helps governments ensure that nature is integrated into economies to deliver “high-quality jobs and new sources of economic value, while preserving the natural capital needed for public health and societal resilience.”

The New Nature Economy series aims to contribute to the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by making the case for why the nature crisis is crucial to business and the economy, identifying a set of priority socioeconomic systems for transformation, and scoping the market and investment opportunities for nature-based solutions to environmental challenges. [Publication: The Future of Nature and Business] [Publication Landing Page] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Dasgupta Review on Economics of Biodiversity].

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