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What are nature positive policies from an economic point of view?

What are nature positive policies from an economic point of view?

The World Economic Forum has published two studies, “the Future of Nature and Business Policy Companion” and ‘the Future of Nature and Business”, on how to rebuild the economy using an environmental approach.

This approach is born due to the fact that over half of the global gross domestic product is potentially threatened by nature loss, one of the reports states that there is “no future for business as usual”, as it finds that fighting climate change is not enough, a “fundamental transformation” is needed across the socioeconomic system. The recommendations the WEF makes to reset towards a “new nature economy” is based on protecting and restoring natural capital assets, enhancing resource productivity and scaling regenerative value chains. 

But what are “nature positive policies”? There are the policies that aim on transforming the economic exploitation of the three socio-economic systems that play a major role in biodiversity:

a) Food, land, and ocean use.

This sector represents around “$10 trillion of GDP (12% of global GDP) and up to 40% of employment”. Six socio-economic transitions can develop this sector in a sustainable and nature positive way:

  • Ecosystem restoration and avoided land and ocean expansion
  • Productive and regenerative ocean
  • Healthy and productive ocean
  • Sustainable management of forests
  • Planet-compatible consumption
  • Transparent and sustainable supply chains
b) Infrastructure and the build of the environment.

This sector represents an “estimated 40% of global GDP currently originating from the built environment”. Five socio-economic transitions can develop this sector in a sustainable and nature positive way:

  • Compact built environment
  • Nature-positive built environment design
  • Planet-compatible urban utilities
  • Nature as infrastructure
  • Nature-positive connecting infrastructure
c) Extractive activities and energy

This sector accounts for an “estimated 23% of global GDP and 16% of employment”. Six socio-economic transitions can develop this sector in a sustainable and nature positive way through:

  • Circular and resource efficient models for materials
  • Nature-positive metals and minerals extraction
  • Sustainable materials supply chain
  • Nature-positive energy transition

The WEF establishes these transitions as complementary measures to fighting global warming, and they are to be achieved by business action together with policy and regulation from governments as well as with shifts in consumer’s habits and social norms. 

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