Private finance could plug funding gap for nature recovery

A major nature recovery report has set out ambitious plans to increase private investment in the UK’s emerging environmental markets, to help plug an estimated £5.6bn-a year-funding gap for the country’s key nature goals.

The report – developed with input from more than 300 experts from across government, business, finance, the environmental and land management sectors – says there are significant barriers to private investment in nature in the UK.

See also: 50 nature projects get funds to develop investment potential

Analysis last year by one of the organisations involved in the report, the Green Finance Institute, found that between £44bn and £97bn in investment above current public sector funding is required for the UK to meet nature-related outcomes in the next 10 years, with a central estimate of £56bn.

Private potential

Unlocking the potential of private investment in nature recovery – such as peatland restoration and woodland creation – will require regulatory reform, better use of data to measure success, as well as more efficient markets to trade in environmental services, the report says.

The Country Land and Business Association is among the organisations to back the report’s recommendations.

CLA director-general Sarah Hendry said: “There is great potential for high-integrity environment markets to unlock private finance for nature recovery across the UK.

“We are confident that implementing this roadmap and recommendations will provide the right incentives for farmers and other landholders to integrate nature recovery with agriculture and other land uses and provide ongoing benefits for communities across the country.”

Natural incentive

Led by the Broadway Initiative, Finance Earth and the Green Finance Institute, the report has been informed by the views and contributions from more than 50 organisations, in addition to UK and devolved governments.

David Young, senior fellow at the Broadway Initiative, said: “We need to put nature recovery onto a sustainable financial footing.

“Well-designed and regulated markets can provide farmers and landowners with the incentives to integrate nature with agriculture and other land uses.”

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