Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural resources worth more than US $40 trillion must be accounted for

Date:
June 25, 2014
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Governments and companies must do more to account for their impact and dependence on the natural environment -- according to researchers. New research reveals that although some companies like Puma and Gucci are leading the way, more needs to be done to foster a sustainable green economy. Researchers say that while the economic value of lost natural resources can be difficult to quantify, much more must be done to make sure that it is.

New research published in the journal Nature Climate Change reveals that although some companies like Kering, a group which includes Puma and Gucci, are leading the way, more needs to be done to foster a sustainable green economy.

Related Articles


Researchers say that while the economic value of lost natural resources can be difficult to quantify, much more must be done to make sure that it is.

Lead author Matthew Agarwala from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "When we talk about 'natural capital', what we mean is the elements of nature that produce value to people -- such as ecosystems, plant and animal species, freshwater, land minerals, the air and oceans, as well as natural processes such as climate regulation.

"The value of this natural capital is largely excluded from both GDP and corporate accounting. It is assumed that these natural resources are 'free' -- but using them has an impact on the natural world and future living standards.

"This impact is too vast to be left off the balance sheets.

"The World Bank has estimated the value of natural capital to be at least US$40.2 trillion. That's around half of gross world product, 1.6 times the combined assets of the world's 10 biggest banks, and would have paid for the Apollo Space Programme more than 300 times.

"Companies and governments around the world need to account for their economic dependence and impact on the natural world to promote sustainability and combat climate change."

The report calls for public and private sectors to work together to develop Natural Capital Accounts (NCAs) -- a metric to show vital information about economic dependence and impact on the natural world. These NCAs could then be integrated into national statistics such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounts to provide early warning signs of emerging risks and vulnerabilities in the face of changing climate and land use.

"A good starting point would be to improve corporate carbon accounts and rapidly expand to include impacts on water and other elements of natural capital," said Agarwala.

The paper argues that focusing on carbon alone could lead to unintended consequences.

"Some private sector companies such as Kering, a group which includes Puma and Gucci, have started to publish environmental profit and loss accounts. This is a big step forward, and I hope that more firms will examine their natural capital impacts and dependencies throughout their supply chains.

"Natural capital is the foundation of all human wellbeing, yet its degradation is largely unreported and important public and private sector decisions are routinely made without regard for its value. Government and industry must join efforts to disclose both their own dependence on, and also their impact on natural capital."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew Agarwala, Giles Atkinson, Christopher Baldock, Barry Gardiner. Natural capital accounting and climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2014; 4 (7): 520 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2257

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Natural resources worth more than US $40 trillion must be accounted for." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625151534.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2014, June 25). Natural resources worth more than US $40 trillion must be accounted for. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625151534.htm
University of East Anglia. "Natural resources worth more than US $40 trillion must be accounted for." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140625151534.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lights out for Earth Hour

Lights out for Earth Hour

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 29, 2015) — Landmarks in cities around the globe turn off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins