We don’t have to choose between protecting nature and economic growth. Our climate podcast biodiversity episode details the economic value of nature

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Some people say we face a straight choice between innovative, thriving human communities and saving the natural world. Our climate podcast biodiversity episode proves that’s not true.

When we invest in and maintain our biodiversity, we expand our way of thinking about economics. Biodiversity is our natural infrastructure. It’s just as important to economic development in the decades ahead as the infrastructure we build with concrete, steel and fibre optic cables.

Our climate podcast biodiversity episode looks at the massive contribution biodiversity makes to our economy—and demonstrates that while we’re waiting for the great innovations that will solve the climate crisis, we can slow climate change by protecting and investing in nature.

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In the climate podcast biodiversity episode, you’ll find out:

  • The economic importance of protecting pollinators like bees. Pollination of crops is essential to the fruits and vegetables grown across the world. Globally, crop pollination contributes the equivalent of €150 billion every year. That’s a real, tangible value created by biodiversity with very low costs. It’s also a fun way to silence your grumpy old uncle who thinks protecting nature should take second place to economic growth.
  • There are only 50 countries in the world with a GDP bigger than those tiny little crop pollinators.
  • The combined value to the world’s economy provided by ecosystems is called ecosystem services. They contribute $125 trillion to $140 trillion a year. That’s seven times the GDP of the United States. (How do you like that, grumpy old uncle?)
  • Commercial forestry can support sustainable landscapes and foster rural economic growth and employment. Global demand for wood, renewable fibre and other forest products is growing, driven primarily by biodegradable packaging, soft tissue products and renewable energy.
  • More good news. In the EU, forests and other wooded areas account for over 40% of the land. In recent decades, afforestation has increased this area by about 0.4% a year. The actual volume of the EU’s forests is also rising. Only 60% of the annual forest growth is harvested.

If you’ve got something to say about climate in general or this podcast in particular, let me know @EIBMatt on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Climate Solutions.