The ‘Integrating biodiversity and finance for a nature positive future’ programme will develop the solutions needed to embed the values of biodiversity into financial decision making.
This investment will build a national multi-stakeholder community that can drive the development of knowledge, tools and skills to incorporate biodiversity-related risks and opportunities into planning, reporting and investment decisions for the finance and business sectors.
Our economy and our environment are inseparable. Environmental science plays a vital role in identifying environmental problems and their cost to the economy and society.
The UK is a world leader in environmental science and understanding how our environment is changing. NERC is leading the way in building understanding of coupled economic and environment systems, enabling us to judge the balance of economic growth and environmental sustainability that will be fundamental to the future of humankind.
The environmental science community has the capacity to fill knowledge gaps and provide environmental data and evidence to develop tools to incorporate biodiversity, as an asset or value, into private finance. In doing so, the community and financial sector can work together to help reverse the global trend of biodiversity depletion. This will be achieved through a change in business and consumer behaviour for a nature-positive future.
The UK government 2023 Green finance strategy (GOV.UK) incorporates both nature and climate adaptation into its green finance policy framework.
Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future will:
- achieve better understanding of the complex interlinkages between biodiversity, finance and society and what it means for resilience (environmental and economic) and economic prosperity to support a roadmap to ‘net zero biodiversity loss’
- deliver robust models and scenarios, leading to a more sustainable financial services industry in anticipation of a developing regulatory system (for example, UK firm-level net zero transition plans)
- develop new or merge existing datasets that link research to business and build biodiversity into a next generation of financial instruments
- raise the profile of UK leadership to leverage developing international initiatives
- mitigate risks and highlight opportunities to address interacting stressors simultaneously, for example biodiversity interacting with climate change and driving ambitions for net environmental gain
NERC is investing £5 million (at 80% full economic cost) in the Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future programme in two phases.
NERC Phase 1 (the Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future funding opportunity) has been implemented with 12 scoping projects awarded, and a coordination and integration function to bring the awards together. Read about the scoping projects in the news story: New research will integrate biodiversity and finance.
NERC Phase 2 will establish an interdisciplinary research and innovation network consisting of a virtual hub and associated spokes or partnerships. The network will provide leadership by delivering and supporting a portfolio of activities informed by and built on Phase 1 outcomes.
Innovate UK will invest £2 million for funding for SMEs and larger corporates. Details will be available at a later stage.