According to a report from the Center for American Progress, (Building Resilience to Climate Change Requires Investment in Nature) ecosystems around the world provide economic benefits to the tune of $124.8 trillion annually. And even if current emissions commitments are fulfilled, 20-30 % of all species on earth face a high risk of extinction.
The report argues that the resulting cost in the form of loss of assets, decline in human well-being and related expenses could have a significant impact on economies large and small. Current public finance for climate change adaptation has largely been used for physical infrastructure, agricultural systems, water delivery, wastewater management and energy supply systems. Data on the potential impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services is scarce or nonexistent.
Among other things, the report calls stakeholders to support habitat and watershed conservation, develop frameworks to monetize ecosystem services and foster infrastructure development that integrates ecosystem restoration.
The report concludes that “until ecosystems, a major pillar of global economic vitality, become a core component of climate change adaptation strategy and a primary target for corresponding investments, the response will remain structurally flawed and insufficient.” To read the full report, click here.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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