In 2019, Her Majesty’s Treasury (UK) commissioned Sir Partha Dasgupta, an economist and Professor Emeritus at Cambridge University to produce an independent, global review on the Economics of Biodiversity. Sir Partha was assisted by a multi-disciplinary Advisory Panel that included representatives of public policy, science, economics and business. The Review argues that countries should de-emphasize GDP as an index of progress and instead should focus on a national Wealth measure that includes an accounting for Natural Capital. After World War II, when the world was very different from what it is now, Sir Partha argues the economic questions being faced could be studied most productively by excluding Natural Capital and focusing on Produced Capital (e.g. infrastructure) and Human Capital. But today, as economists have begun to devise methods to value and to track Natural Capital, it is becoming apparent that while Produced and Human Capital may be increasing, Natural Capital is declining. The Review analyzes what we know about Natural capital and begins to address how Natural Capital might be incorporated into a valid assessment of national wealth and long-term sustainability.
Dasgupta, P. (2021), The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review. Full Report. 610 pages. (London: HM Treasury) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/final-report-the-economics-of-biodiversity-the-dasgupta-review