UK’s Natural Capital Committee beginning to take shape

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman last week announced the appointment of five members to the recently formed independent Natural Capital Committee.

The members are experts in the fields of natural science and economics, with a considerable range of specialist knowledge and experience:
Professor Ian Batemen of University of East Anglia served as Head of Economics for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and is a Member of Defra Science Advisory Council
Dr Giles Atkinson is Head of the Environmental Economics and Policy Cluster at London School of Economics
Kerry ten Kate is Director of Business and Biodiversity at Forest Trends and is currently working on the Valuing Nature Network
Robert Smale is Director and Founder of Vivid Economics Ltd and has led projects including an analysis of the scope for a Green Investment Bank in the UK
Rosemary Hails has an MBE for services to Environmental Research and is chair of the Natural Capital Initiative (of which the BES is a partner).

The Committee was created as an outcome of last year’s Natural Environment White Paper (The Natural Choice: Securing the Value of Nature) and will provide independent expert advice on the state of England’s natural capital, reporting directly to the Economic Affairs Committee, chaired by Chancellor George Osborne.

The group’s aim is to ensure that the Government has a good understanding of the value of Natural Capital and that the decisions it takes support and improve the UK’s natural assets. By reporting directly to the Chancellor and Economic Affairs Committee – who advise the Government on economic decisions – the Natural Capital Committee has a real opportunity to influence economic policy for the good of the UK’s natural environment.

The Committee is chaired by Professor Dieter Helm, an economist with considerable influence and experience in the field of European economic and environmental policy, and membership will be complete with the appointment of two further members.