Reversing the crisis of biodiversity and nature loss in Asia-Pacific could translate into $ 4.3 trillion in positive business opportunities for nature
- A new study by AlphaBeta, Temasek and the World Economic Forum estimates that 63% of Asia Pacific GDP, US $ 19.5 trillion, is threatened by biodiversity and the loss of nature
- It also identifies 59 positive business opportunities for nature that can unlock US $ 4.3 trillion in commercial value and create 232 million jobs per year in Asia Pacific by 2030
SINGAPORE, Sept. 29, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Asia-Pacific, a region rich in endemic biodiversity found nowhere else in the world, is at the heart of the biodiversity crisis and the loss of nature . It contains the world’s largest concentration of hot spots with depletion of natural capital, and under the status quo, up to 42 percent of all species in South East Asia could be lost, half of which would be global extinctions. Systemic transitions are needed to enable a sustainable future for Asia Pacific, and innovative solutions can unlock the investments needed to reset our relationship with the planet.
These are among the findings of a new report from AlphaBeta, Temasek and the World Economic Forum, ‘New economy of nature: asia Next wave ‘, launched today during Ecosperity Week 2021. The report presents a business case for nature-friendly solutions in the region by exploring the risks, opportunities and financing needed for a nature-friendly economy.
Threats to nature are threats to businesses
Three major socio-economic systems Asia Pacific represent the greatest threat to nature, but also present the greatest opportunities for positive economic growth for nature. Together, the value of these opportunities, US $ 4.3 trillion, is equivalent to 14 percent of Asia Pacific GDP in 2019:
- Usual practices in our food, land and ocean use system are unsustainable. Changing both the way we grow and fish and the amount of food and clothing we consume is imperative, given the challenges of sustaining the region’s population, which is expected to grow to 5.5 billion. by 2050..
We need to ‘spare’ nature – by increasing the amount of undisturbed land and water to allow natural ecosystems to thrive – and to ‘share’ space with nature – ensuring that land and working water are more welcoming to biodiversity. Achieving this dual purpose will require implementing and scaling up 28 business opportunities that could create more US $ 1.6 trillion in enterprise value and around 118 million jobs.
- Urbanization fueled the rapid and often unforeseen expansion of the infrastructure and built environment, which has resulted in significant negative impacts on nature and humanity. Asia now home to 99 of the top 100 cities facing the greatest environmental risks, and as urbanization continues to intensify, the contribution of the built environment to biodiversity and nature loss will only continue to grow if left unchecked.
The built environment should be more welcoming to nature and wildlife, while reversing its negative impact on the surrounding natural environment. To achieve this, it is necessary to implement and evolve 16 business opportunities that could create more US $ 1.2 trillion in commercial value and around 65 million new jobs.
- While the energy and extractive system has been a key driver of the region’s growth, energy, power and industry together account for 79 percent of Asia Pacific greenhouse gas emissions. Providing reliable access to energy while meeting decarbonisation goals in the region will be a significant challenge and meeting the region’s needs within the means of our planet will require a radical overhaul of the entire energy and extractive system.
We need to improve the efficiency of consumption to reduce the amount of resources we need to extract, improve the way we extract these resources to minimize the impact on ecosystems, and switch to more renewable energy without causing more damage to ecosystems. ecosystems. To achieve this, it will be necessary to implement and size 15 business opportunities that could create more US $ 1.4 trillion in commercial value and around 49 million new jobs.
In total, unlocking the 59 positive business opportunities for nature in these three systems will require an annual investment of US $ 1.1 trillion. Although substantial, it is a fraction of the US $ 31.1 trillion announced by the 45 member countries of the Asian Development Bank to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to halve carbon emissions and start reversing nature loss by 2030 to avoid catastrophic consequences, and this can be achieved with new business models that are economically self-sufficient and resilient,” said Dr . Steve howard, director of sustainable development at Temasek. “The business and investment communities need to work with governments and civil society, and together we can unlock the funding to help drive growth that benefits people, the planet and the economy. “
Innovation and collaboration needed to catalyze investments for a positive transition for nature
In an exclusive survey conducted for the report, investors and business leaders across Asia Pacific identified the main challenges to be overcome in pursuing nature-friendly business models. These barriers can be broadly categorized into four areas: regulatory challenges, market barriers, information gaps, and lack of catalysts for investment.
To overcome these obstacles, business and community leaders came up with a range of innovative solutions to galvanize the investments required over the next decade. The top three suggestions include:
- New models for pricing externalities to capture the real cost of natural capital and environmental externalities;
- Harmonized reporting standards on biodiversity to ensure accountability for biodiversity targets; and
- New financial products and mechanisms, such as blended finance models as well as regulations to enforce existing and future environmental policies.
More research and development, as well as greater public-private dialogue, will be essential to create an environment conducive to investment in a nature-friendly economy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was the much-needed systemic shock forcing us to rethink humanity’s relationship with nature. To get back to a resilient future, we must appropriately allocate our investment in the protection, restoration and sustainable management of natural capital and the valuation of ecosystem services ”, mentioned Akanksha Khatri, responsible for the action program for nature at the World Economic Forum. “Our research and engagement with governments, the private sector, investors and civil society underscores the need to create new collaborative avenues for a nature-friendly economy.”
“Biodiversity and the loss of nature are at the heart of the concerns of companies in the Asia Pacific region, and all available evidence indicates that the status quo is no longer an option, ”noted Dr. Fraser thompson, founder and CEO of AlphaBeta. “The good news is that this report demonstrates that there is a path for companies that can not only strengthen the resilience of their operations and actively contribute to nature restoration, but also create new and major growth opportunities. Multi-stakeholder action between business, government and civil society. company in Asia Pacific can unlock these positive opportunities for nature. “
The report from AlphaBeta, the World Economic Forum and Temasek can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/NewNatureEconomy
AlphaBeta is a strategic and economic consulting company serving clients around the world from its head office in Singapore.
Temasek is an investment company with a net portfolio value of S $ 381 billion (283 billion US dollars) like a March 31, 2021. Our roles in the Charter as an investor, institution and manager shape our position, our ethics and our investment philosophy, to do well, do well and do good. We actively seek sustainable solutions to meet present and future challenges, while capturing investments and other opportunities that help create a better, smarter and more sustainable world. Based at Singapore, Temasek has 13 offices around the world. For more information on Temasek, please visit www.temasek.com.sg.
About the World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum, determined to improve the state of the world, is the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Forum engages society’s key political, business and other leaders in shaping global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).