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18/10/2021

Multi-billion pound investment gap revealed to restore nature

Words: Huw Morris
Butterfly / iStock: 892065730

The UK needs to spend at least an extra £44 billion and as much as £97 billion in the next decade to protect and restore biodiversity and nature.

An analysis published by the Green Finance Institute reveals a multi-billion pound investment gap in public sector spending on nature amid a range of best and worst case scenarios based on available evidence.

The largest finance gap regionally lies within England, estimated at between £21 billion to £53bn over 10 years, followed by Scotland, with a gap of between £15bn to £27bn. In Wales, the gap is between £5bn  to £7bn while in Northern Ireland the figure is £3bn to £5bn.

The UK’s Overseas Territories will need to plug a gap of at least £200 million and potentially as much as £1.4bn.

The largest gaps on nature outcomes are within climate mitigation through bio-carbon - £20bn over 10 years - and the protection and restoration of biodiversity at £19bn over a decade. The gap in financing improved access and engagement with the environment is estimated at £7bn, while  £354m will need to be found for reducing flood risk through natural flood management.

Environmental economics consultancy eftec carried out the research to identify the extent to which private investment is needed to meet the UK’s net-zero and nature-positive ambitions while informing investors where they should focus.

“Public investment - even if funding commitments increase - will not be enough to fund the UK’s nature recovery ambitions,” said Green Finance Institute chief executive Rhian-Mari Thomas. “Private investment is therefore urgently required in addition to public sector funding if we hope to transition to a net-zero and nature-positive economy.”

Download The Finance Gap for UK Nature (PDF) 

Image credit | iStock

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