Article | 08 Déc, 2021

Environmental Services Investments & Offset Bonds

CEESP news: by Simon M. Lamb

UK based CEESP member Simon Lamb's proposal for the world's first bond market in environmental services seems to have found favour with the UK Conservative party. Recently, the policy was selected by a Dragons Den of MPs, Lords and the Prime Minister's chief policy advisor from over 200 others for the Party's first ever Policy Yearbook. The fifteen selected policies are being put before the relevant Ministers' advisors.

Environmental Services Bonds come in three flavours:

  1. The investment version - ESIs - is to conserve sovereign high conservation value areas (HCVAs), including primary forest, "blue carbon" sinks and biodiversity hot-spots, such as kelp forests and reefs. The major advantage over other schemes is that it also produces very substantial amounts of interest- and debt- free capital to emerging economies for green and social development.
  2. Environmental Services Offset Bonds (ESOs) are for purchasing and restoring private and sovereign owned pre-damaged HCVAs, and selling carbon offsets.
  3. The third, Environmental Services Provision Contracts, provides a market in which holders of pristine HCVAs can sell the environment services their natural capital provides to the world.

All three versions put indigenous guardianship at the forefront, and ESOs even provide for the transfer of land to indigenous communities. The bonds are designed to be state-of-the-art investment vehicles employing the latest monitoring, reporting and verification technologies.

The jury is still out so far as the UK government is concerned, but the idea has generated a lot of interest as a potential central policy for post-COP26 action.

For more information, please contact Simon M. Lamb.