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The Little Book of Investing in Nature

In 2021, Andrew published his latest book, “The Little Book of Investing in Nature” in a collaboration with Global Canopy and Cornell University. It is No 8 in the Little Book series that Andrew has been a supervising editor of since 2002. 

This video, It’s time to invest in nature, highlights the urgent need to invest in protecting nature, drawing on the findings of The Little Book of Investing in Nature.

As the video makes clear, we currently invest just USD 143 billion in protecting nature – yet spend five times that amount on harmful subsidies that damage natural resources.

Yet, with the right incentives, private finance can help change this.

The Little Book of Investing in Nature shows how this can happen. It highlights more than 40 mechanisms that can be used to direct finance towards protecting and supporting nature, with 25 case studies showing how these work in practice. 

It is time to invest in nature – and to stop financing damaging the natural infrastructure our economy depends on.

The Little Book of Investing in Nature provides an essential overview of the world of biodiversity finance at a time when international leaders and governments are increasingly seeking pragmatic solutions for the growing climate and nature loss crises. With the need to protect nature high on global agendas, the Little Book will help inform wider global conversation about how we sustain the biodiversity and ecosystems services  that we all depend on – and the role of business and finance within that.

Key messages

  • Nature is in crisis and governments must ramp-up ambition in the new 10-year plan for nature to be agreed this year which must transform the way in which business and finance  understand, measure and value the natural resources we all rely upon.
  • The investment needed to protect nature is estimated to grow to as much as USD 967 billion by 2030, yet government spending on harmful subsidies currently outweighs spending on nature by five to one.
  • The private sector needs to switch from funding harmful activities to funding nature positive activities – and this book sets out practical steps on how banks and investors can help make the shift. 

In more detail: 

  • Business and finance, and society more broadly must take urgent action in response to the crisis in the natural world and protect the resources we all depend upon.
  • In 2020 the emergence of COVID 19 – a zoonotic disease linked to the degradation of biodiversity that has cost us trillions of dollars (US$12.5 trillion) – has accelerated our understanding of this crisis and the links to the economy.
  • We are at a key juncture when the world’s governments are coming together to develop a 10-year plan for the protection of nature and how to fund it.
  • Over half of the world economy depends on services provided by nature, worth US$ 44 trillion.
  • Nature-based solutions are moving centre stage as the world looks for more efficient cost-effective mechanisms to fight climate change.
  • The costs of protecting nature are estimated  in 2019 at USD 800 billion.
  • We will face a gap of between USD 598 and 824 billion in funding for biodiversity by 2030.
  • Efforts to protect nature are being undermined by the harmful subsidies that are driving the destruction of biodiversity.
  • Harmful subsidies outweigh conservation spending by five to one, with  USD 1 trillion of public money currently spent on activities that are harmful to nature.
  • We can afford to protect nature – but only if we reduce harmful subsidies and redirect finance from activities that damage nature to activities that support nature, from nature negative to nature positive.
  • The financial sector has a critical role to play in supporting the protection and restoration of nature.
  • This book offers a simple guide to financing life on Earth, offering practical steps and more than 40 mechanisms to support nature, as well as 25 case studies showing how these examples are supporting biodiversity around the world
  • There is willing capital for investments in biodiversity, and this creates an opportunity for financial institutions to develop products to meet this demand.
  • Managing biodiversity risk is essential for prudent financial risk management, in the same way that managing climate risk has become recognised as necessary. 
  • Protecting nature creates an opportunity for financial institutions, but the mismanagement of biodiversity also represents an enormous risk that can hit quickly and across many sectors.

You can download your free copy of the The Little Book of Investing in Nature by Scanning this QR Code

I hope you enjoy the video and the book and I encourage you to share it widely with your networks.

The Little Book of Investing in Nature, edited by John Tobin and Andrew Mitchell, is published by Global Canopy, January 2021. Global Canopy has been publishing the Little Book series, which includes some of the most widely read books in the area of sustainability and finance, since 2008. 



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