Written on 11 Dec 2020

Natural Capital for a Green Recovery

Top global economists discuss why it’s time to make nature count.

Economic statistics tell an impressive story of 100 years of progress and show that more people are living better today than ever before. But these figures conceal a parallel story of mounting environmental pressures – climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss – that are undermining progress.  A failure to recognize humanity’s greatest assets – nature – in official statistics will ultimately slow progress towards a sustainable, resilient future.

As economies begin their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing recognition that new measures are needed to move beyond gross domestic product, or GDP, and towards a system that considers all of society’s assets – natural, human, social, and institutional – that harnesses their interdependencies, and delivers the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To address these issues, UN DESA, the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany are hosting a webinar to discuss how incorporating natural capital—or the contributions of nature—into official statistics can help make nature count in business and policy decisions.

This webinar, on 15th December at 9:30 AM EST, will bring together world-leading experts to discuss the rationale for placing nature at the heart of the recovery from COVID-19, highlighting a global UN-led effort to develop new statistics that reveal, rather than conceal, the impacts and dependencies of economies on nature. The resulting System of Environmental Economic Accounts - Ecosystem Accounting is expected to be adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission in 2021, providing high-quality, rigorous data on biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment-economy nexus.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • Dr. Monica Contestabile, Editor in Chief, Nature Sustainability, as Moderator of the event.
  • Professor Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy and Co-Director, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge
  • Elliott Harris, United Nations Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Bert Kroese, Deputy Director General, Statistics Netherlands and Chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting

Join the webinar to get an insider's look at a series of landmark reports: 

Register here: