Hilary Benn Calls for Biodiversity Pricing in Policy

Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, has called for world leaders to identify a way to price the impact of their decisions on biodiversity. The Guardian reports that, in a speech outlining Labour manifesto thinking, Mr Benn praised the TEEB review (the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) currently being prepared by a team led by Pavan Sukhdev of Deutsche Bank, as making a vital contribution to our understanding of the natural world and how to conserve it; “the report presented by Sukhdev can do for our understanding of the natural world what Nick Stern did for the understanding of climate change”, said Mr Benn, alluding to the report by Lord Stern into the economics of climate change.

Mr Benn’s speech encouraged politicians to think about the most effective mechanism for taking account of the economic decisions we make in relation to their impact on biodiversity. He called for society to begin to live within environmental limits and stressed the need for a body equivalent to the Independent Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for biodiversity. The scientific and policy communities are already advanced in thinking about what such a body, the Independent Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) might look like.

In a speech today to Progress Mr Benn is expected to say that the world is going through its sixth major extinction event, but that this is going largely unnoticed. He will call for greater optimism in man’s ability to tackle the environmental challenges we face and to improve the environment.

Original article: Benn to call on world leaders to adopt biodiversity pricing, Patrick Wintour, 25 January 2010