An alliance of UK environmental and business groups says billions of pounds of private investment is potentially available and urgently needed to reverse the decline in the state of the UK natural environment.
The coalition has produced a roadmap for action, Financing UK Nature Recovery, which is the result of a collaboration between the Broadway Initiative, Finance Earth and the Green Finance Institute.
It describes 2021 as ‘a make-or-break year for nature finance’ and calls on the Government to take decisive action to unlock large-scale private investment in nature recovery across the UK.
A strategic plan for financing nature based solutions is urgently needed to meet the commitments to restore our ecosystems set out in the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution and the government’s 25 year environment plan
Ed Lockhart-Mummery, Convenor of the Broadway Initiative said, “A strategic plan for financing nature based solutions is urgently needed to meet the commitments to restore our ecosystems set out in the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution and the government’s 25 year environment plan.
Ahead of the COP26 conference taking place in the UK next year, there is a short window of opportunity for the government to take strategic action at home and be able to adopt a leadership position on financing nature-based solutions.”
Financing UK Nature Recovery launched at the Natural Capital Finance and Investment Conference which is taking place over three days this week.
The Conference, now in its third year, is an important online forum designed to encourage cross-sectoral collaboration. It is being attended by at least a thousand experts from across the worlds of finance and environment. The roadmap is designed to ensure the UK is placed at the forefront of this important next frontier for green finance.
The roadmap calls for:
- The creation of a Pathfinder Fund to invest in large-scale projects
- New market rules and standards to be established for investing in nature-based projects
- The establishment of a coalition of finance, business and environmental groups to assist the UK Government in placing nature recovery on a sustainable financial footing.
Investment in nature
Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, OBE, Chief Executive, Green Finance Institute said: “We know we must urgently invest in nature and in nature-based solutions and that to do so will require the collaboration of the finance community, private sector and Government.
“In order to crowd in private investors that are keen to invest in nature, but who are struggling to find projects that meet their requirements, we need to develop a robust pipeline of demonstration projects.
“As with the renewable energy sector a decade ago, nature is a nascent asset class and will similarly need policy and funding support in order to attract capital at scale.”
As with the renewable energy sector a decade ago, nature is a nascent asset class and will similarly need policy and funding support in order to attract capital at scale.
James Mansfield, Co-founder and Managing Director of Finance Earth said: “The UK needs a coherent strategy and regulatory framework for unlocking investment to deliver meaningful action on the ground.”
“Innovative financing solutions in isolation cannot unlock private investment at the scale required, we need a carefully designed policy and regulatory framework which is built in partnership with practitioners, scientists, regulators and the finance community – this is what this coalition aims to deliver.”
Edward Lockhart-Mummery, Convenor of the Broadway Initiative said: “The Pathfinder Fund is essential to demonstrate the revenues that can be delivered by investment in nature and reduce the barriers to large scale private investment.”
“Failing to design a coherent framework for nature investment and remove regulatory barriers now will lock in dependence on public funding for the long term.
“Business needs certainty to plan and collaborate across sectors, on long term, large scale solutions to improving the natural environment.”