Putting a Dollar Value on Nature Will Give the Powerful a Reason to Protect It

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Putting a Dollar Value on Nature Will Give the Powerful a Reason to Protect It

I believe that overhauling society’s concept of wealth to include “natural capital” – the value nature provides to humans – is a critical step for slowing and reversing the loss of precious ecosytems. ADVERTISEMENTWhat is natural capital? Natural capital accounting would require businesses and governments to calculate how human activity affects nature, much as they assess depreciation of buildings or machinery. This approach creates incentives to conserve natural resources and restore others that have been degraded or depleted. In contrast, the U.K. created public environmental accounts and set up a Natural Capital Committee in 2012, led by its finance ministry, to help corporations develop natural capital accounts.

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