Net Zero cannot be delivered without Nature. There are significant economic opportunities that the UK could capture by scaling new markets in this space.
There is an expectation that investments in the Nature sector will be a source of significant value creation in the UK, with every £1 invested in Urban Green Infrastructure delivering £27 in value, in addition to numerous other benefits for people and communities in the UK. However, the nature sector is a growing area of concern, with a significant financing gap of between £44-97Bn over the next 10 years to meet the UK’s own targets on nature and biodiversity. Active intervention will be necessary to address market failures and crowd in private investment to these new nature-positive markets, and the UK Infrastructure Bank could play a critical role in scaling these markets. This was echoed in the Chancellor’s recent strategic steer to the Bank after finalising the Treasury’s Environmental Review.
On February 10th, E3G hosted a roundtable discussion for the UK Infrastructure Bank to discuss the role of the Bank in supporting nature positive solutions. The roundtable explored the possibility of the Bank supporting nature positive solutions, identifying the market failures that are essential for the Bank to address, and the opportunities that could be unlocked across the country.
Participants suggested the following three overarching actions for the Bank:
- Clarify the role for Nature and Resilience in the Bank’s objectives in the Strategic Plan to give clear signals to market participants about the role of the Bank in these markets, in line with the Chancellor’s steer to the UK Infrastructure Bank.
- Take a holistic approach to assessing value creation in the Bank’s investment strategy plan, with social and environmental ‘returns’ considered on an equal level to financial return and a range of Key Performance Indicators used in ex-ante investment screening and evaluation.
- Invest upfront in Nature projects to provide a clear signal of intent to the market about the types of transformational projects, the Bank will support. Showcasing a range of innovative financing and de-risking approaches would support this.
Read the full briefing here.