An economist at the University of Cambridge, Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta published a report stating that ‘the word’s worsening biodiversity crisis is linked to a “deep-rooted, widespread institutional failure” to recognise the value of nature’.
The report, commissioned by the Treasury in 2019, goes on to say that our demands of nature “far exceed its capacity to supply us with the goods and services we all rely on”.
In response to the report, Caroline Lucas MP said:
‘Professor Dasgupta’s report should send shockwaves through the Treasury. His conclusion is crystal clear: ministers need to replace GDP growth with environmental protection and human wellbeing as the country’s overarching economic goals and apply this to all economic policy making – starting with next month’s budget.
We cannot continue with our current approach to economic progress if we are to preserve the natural world we depend on and are part of – it can no longer be treated by peripheral to our lives. A focus on GDP growth above anything else is driving ecological as well as climate breakdown and no amount of Prime Ministerial rhetoric or ‘investing in nature’ will halt this catastrophe if we don’t address the root cause.
We can enhance biodiversity and create a better society for everyone if we abandon an outdated, destructive way of thinking about the economy as separate from the environment and wellbeing and move to one focused on people’s health, quality of life and the regeneration of nature. Two thirds of the public think that government should focus on health and wellbeing over GDP, and 2021 – the year of two critical UN summits – is the year to do it.’
Catch her on BBC World Service below discussing the review below.
Read more on the reactions to the report at The Independent.
Prof Sir Dasgupta’s review is available in full here.