Natural capital priorities for coping with change

Panel discussion on 14 January 2021

In January 2021 we organised a panel discussion with Prof. Sir Ian Boyd from the University of St Andrews and Assistant Director Ben Combes from PwC to discuss natural capital priorities for coping with economic and societal change.

You can listen to the discussion or watch it again below.

Watch the panel discussion by clicking here

Re-imagining the next decade

The pandemic has focused attention on the interconnectedness of people and nature, and the need for good environmental management. As well as the appreciation of access to nature and greenspace, awareness of issues such as food quality, wild nature, biodiversity risks, sustainability and fairness have been prominent. However, the severe negative economic impact of lockdowns on personal and national finances, and the uncertainties ahead, create a fiscally tough environment that could favour old favourite, safe-bet rapid return on investment options. Lately the popular focus on a green recovery has created a window for innovative thought-leadership on priorities for natural capital research, business and policy. It is essential that the societal, economic and environmental spheres are brought together to contribute to a broader re-imagining and shaping of the next decade.

Are decision makers in policy and business using natural capital evidence?
What are the available solutions?
What natural capital issues should be prioritised to capture the imaginations of the whole society?

The panellist shared short proposals on their priorities for natural capital research, policy and practice required to underpin a green recovery. This was followed by a chaired panel discussion with questions from participants. The discussion and distilled priorities will act as a springboard for future dialogue and collaboration.

Follow the discussion on Twitter @NCI_NatCap #NCIdialogue.

Meet the panel

Chaired by Dr Laura Bellingan, Director of Policy & Public Affairs at the Royal Society of Biology and NCI Chair

Professor Sir Ian Boyd served as the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2012 to 2019. He is currently Professor in Biology at the University of St Andrews. Ian has worked extensively in marine and polar science in the UK and abroad. He has received the Polar Medal, Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and the Bruce Medal for his research in polar science.

Ben Combes is an Assistant Director at PwC and a Senior Economist in the Sustainability & Climate Change team. He is co-founder of PwC UK’s Innovation & Sustainability practice, working on tech for good projects, including AI for Earth with Microsoft and 4IR for the Global Goals with the World Economic Forum. He is also an expert adviser to PwC UK’s Net Zero leadership team and works with clients on climate tech and their net zero transformation strategies.