The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a report stating that a “nature positive” economy could create as many as 395 million jobs.
The report, recently published by the World Economic Forum says that by 2030, a nature-first approach to the economy would create $10 trillion in economic activity, and be responsible for that 395 million job figure, while warning that there can be “no job or prosperity on a dead planet.”
Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Dominic Waughray wrote in his foreword that “there is a path that can provide a win-win for nature, people and business. It can unlock an estimated $10 trillion of business opportunities by transforming three economic systems that are responsible for almost 80% of nature loss.”
The three systems include food, land and ocean use, infrastructure and the built environment, and energy and extractives.
Key findings of the report include the fact that half of the globe’s GDP ($44 trillion) is threatened by nature loss, and the fact that, in the words of the WEF, “15 systematic transitions with annual business opportunities worth $10 trillion could create 395 million jobs by 2030.”
The report states that $2.7 trillion will be needed to “scale the transitions,” which include deploying “technological innovation critical to 80% of the business opportunity value.” Authors draw the connection between that $2.7 trillion figure mentioned with the $2.2 trillion in stimulus funding from the US government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report calls on businesses to take practical steps in terms of their environmental considerations, as well as putting pressure on governments to set a more environmentally-friendly agenda.
Head of the Nature Action Agenda at the WEF, Akanksha Khatri says that “we can address the looming biodiversity crisis and reset the economy in a way that creates and protects millions of jobs.”
“We can protect food supplies, make better use of our infrastructure and tap into new energy sources by transition to nature-positive solutions,” Khatri added.
“There is no future for business as usual,” reads the report, with the authors adding that “we are reaching irreversible tipping points for nature and climate.”
The purpose of the new Nature Economy Report was, according to the WEF to “make the case for why nature loss is a material risk to business and the economy.” Ecological damage presents a number of risks to ‘business-as-usual’ that economic systems are reliant on, including the need to manage risk and the potential consequences of unchecked environmental damage.
The authors added that it was imperative to “provide the insights needed to develop practical roadmaps that address the most important drivers of nature loss, and build a nature-positive future.”
Researchers noted the impact of climate-positive policies from Costa Rica, who has already transitioned its energy supply to be carbon neutral, which President Carlos Alvardo Quesada said was responsible for “prosperity, jobs and new developments” in his country.
“It’s time to mainstream this model,” he said.