In July 2023 the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee launched an enquiry into ‘the current and potential future role of natural capital in the green economy, and the Government’s proposals to increase private investment in measures to support nature recovery’. To respond, IEMA hosted a workshop of IEMA members and key professionals. Lesley Wilson, IEMA’s Policy and Engagement Lead on biodiversity and natural capital, tells us more.

This enquiry has very much been about the link between natural capital and the role that it can play in the success of nature markets as part of the green economy. It posed eight questions that covered aspects of nature markets such as the potential that private investment can make to nature recovery; measures needed to establish and maintain high-integrity markets; how investment can be aligned with environmental benefits and national and international targets; and the role of the UK Green Taxonomy in supporting high-quality nature investment.

IEMA’s response recognised several benefits that private investments can make including the potential to scale up nature recovery faster than just public funding; the opportunity to not only mitigate biodiversity impacts but to create net gain; and the potential to help to fund infrastructure around nature markets such as training and creating jobs for measurement and monitoring. IEMA also had the following key recommendations:

  • Government should create an appropriate regulatory environment for nature markets.
  • Government should invest in nature markets to create proof of concept, and case studies, demonstrate how nature can provide return on investment, and create capacity, especially in the financial sector.
  • Government must support good practice principles for activities in nature markets including using the mitigation hierarchy, creating additionality, following the Lawton principles of the right thing in the right place, and an approach that is more, bigger, better, and joined-up.
  • Government must mandate transparent reporting of double materiality impacts using a recognised framework such as, for example, the Taskforce for Nature-based Financial Disclosure (TNFD) Risk Management Framework.
  • There must be robust and standardised monitoring and measuring over long periods.
  • All new ‘standards’ whether the Green Taxonomy or BSI standards must align as much as possible with frameworks and regulations already in place and being used by businesses, to reduce capacity building and accelerate use.

Having the correct infrastructure – standards, principles, legislation, good practice, etc. – in place is key to the success of nature markets. Take a look at the full response for more details.

Want to find out more about nature markets? Then watch our IEMA Connect2023 webinar on nature markets and our webinar on biodiversity credits that we had earlier this year.

If you’re interested in joining our biodiversity and natural capital network, contact us at: [email protected]

Photo of Lesley
Lesley Wilson

Policy and Engagement Lead

Lesley is Policy and Engagement Lead at IEMA with a focus on biodiversity and natural capital. Lesley also supports IEMA’s role as Secretariat to the UK Business and Biodiversity Forum, working with businesses to raise the profile of, mainstream, and share good practice in, biodiversity. Lesley joined IEMA in December 2021 after 11 years delivering projects, programmes and solutions for business in the field of environmental sustainability for the British Standards Institution (BSI), including ground breaking standards in biodiversity net gain and natural capital. Lesley has a qualification in business management (MBA) and climate change management, and mentors environmental students at the University of Westminster.


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