TEEB: The economic case for investing in ecosystems

29 September 2009 | News story

Investing in the Earth’s ecosystems can counter climate change and help climate-proof vulnerable economies, saving trillions of dollars, says the latest update from TEEB.

The latest update of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study, released in early September 2009, underlines the importance of investing in the restoration and maintenance of the Earth’s ecosystems to counter climate change. It says the planet’s biological diversity and ‘ecological infrastructure’ are increasingly at risk from the impact of mounting greenhouse gases.

Yet natural systems represent one of the biggest untapped allies in the fight against climate change, says the paper, part of a stream of work towards a final report expected in 2010.

Investing in ecosystems through measures such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) could not only assist in combating climate change but could also be a key anti-poverty and climate adaptation measure.

TEEB is urging governments to factor these wider benefits into a forest carbon finance package, in order to maximize the outcome of an agreement in Copenhagen this year. Such an agreement would pave the way for a new, Greener Economy in the 21st century, where natural assets become part of mainstream economic and policy planning.

We welcome the latest findings from this valuable study,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN’s Director General. “The world’s governments need to seize the enormous and highly cost-effective opportunity to combat climate change through forest conservation and improved ecosystem management.”

TEEB, launched in 2007, aims to assess the benefits and costs of conserving biodiversity and stemming the decline in ecosystems worldwide. Led by Mr Pavan Sukhdev, Managing Director and Head of Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets business in India, the study is expected to set the agenda for future scientific research, policy and action. IUCN is actively involved in the project by coordinating deliverable 3: TEEB for business (risks, opportunities and metrics), through the office of the chief economist.

For more information visit: http://www.teebweb.org/