The Dasgupta Review
The Dasgupta review is a 2020 report (review) about accounting the contributions by nature at large, to global wealth, leading to a monetary evaluation of natural capital. Parallels are made between the thinking of an equity investor and the one of a “citizen investor”. A parallel emanating from the one made between market value and accounting value. The review also develops the notion of inclusive wealth, which consists of:
– produced capital (machinery, buildings, infrastructure),
– human capital (health, knowledge, skills),
– natural capital (plants, animals, minerals, air, soil, bacteria).
An economic and financial-orientated approach, necessary at times where not less than 80 countries have taken engagements of including natural capital accounting in their capital accounts and introducing it in their policy procedures for future developments.
Above all, the Dasgupta review is rich in astonishing key figures.
– As much as 77% of the world’s agricultural land, (or 3,28 billion hectares), is dedicated to human meat consumption production.
– 35 % of crop production is for feeding livestock.
– Humans and its required breeding and cultivation account for 96 % of the earth’s biomass.
– 30 % of cultivated food is lost before it reaches mouths. This waste only is responsible for 8 % of the yearly Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.
– Soils consist of 50% air & water, 45% minerals and 5% of organic matter, of which only 10% are living organisms. These 10 % represent not less than 25 % of the earth’s biodiversity.
– Between 1992 and 2014, the world’s GDP per capita raised by 13%. The natural capital per capita declined by 40 % during the same period.
– Prior to the Covid crisis, the funds from both public and private institutions, attributed to the conservation/restoration of biodiversity, were estimated at between 78 and $143 billion / year… or 0,1% of the world’s GDP.
– Less than 2% of the total expenditures caused by Covid (as at 2020) is necessary to restore natural habitats in order to restore sufficient barriers between wild nature and humans, and drastically reduce the risks of epidemics from zoonosis,
– Last but not least, the necessary financing to efficiently protect up to 30% of the earth’s lands and oceans by 2030, is estimated at $140 billion annually, or 0,16% of the world’s GDP prior to Covid.
The Dasgupta review is an eye-opening “must read”. Open the abridged version here.