Cropper at the Press Conference for the Launch of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Business Report
London, 12 July 2010 - Dear colleagues, members of the press:
Thank you for your interest and attendance today.
This is a critical report for the business community and its vital role in addressing biodiversity loss - both in terms of future implications for profitability and planning - and defining ways and means to embark upon a new era of business sustainability.
From what we've heard today and in previous studies, there is a moral, financial and development imperative for business to understand and act upon the link between natural resources, the supply chain, consumer demand and the effect on its profitability and share prices. This is also the time to make strides as a dynamic driver in the global transition to a Green Economy.
Why now? We have no choice. The global financial and concurrent ecological crisis provides a window to address our market failures and ecological overshoot with new vigor. Secondly, in everyday language - we're up against a wall.
For over two decades, we've been measuring and predicting the value of our nature based futures, wondering if our stock would increase or diminish? We've survived on credit, ran up expenses, spiraled into debt and now as the science shows, we are dangerously close to a severe reduction of many essential services as ecosystems shift to states from which it may be difficult or impossible to recover.
A first step is making the value of ecosystems visible in the accounts of government and businesses alike. This is part of TEEB's catalytic role. A new awareness combined with intelligent fiscal policies - which may include, for example, subsidies that support both the economy and the environment, incentives to unleash green markets, improved corporate governance and appropriate regulation, as well as other solutions outlined in the report, can spur important changes and improvements for business and biodiversity - our "natural capital."
Biodiversity is disappearing at up to 1,000 times the natural rate, and ecosystems are functioning less and less effectively.
About 60 per cent of ecosystems have been degraded or used unsustainably, including provisioning (food and fibre) and regulating services (climate, flood, water purification).