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Natural Capital Accounting in the EU

Prof. Kerry Turner, Dr. Silvia Ferrini and Tomas Badura are currently working on the European Commission project “Technical support for the development of Natural Capital Accounting”. Together with UNEP-WCMC and IEEP, the CSERGE team is supporting the development of an accounting system that better reflects the role of the natural environment in supporting economic and social activities in the EU. Such an accounting system is essential for understanding the interdependencies between economic, social and environmental systems, and to facilitate better decision making in Europe.

 

CSERGE’s activities:

CSERGE’s team provides economic expertise on the valuation methodologies that allow development of monetary natural capital accounts. It is preparing a synthesis report on the role of various approaches to natural capital accounting (e.g. satellite accounts, wealth accounting) and categorisation of the available valuation methods for the development of monetary ecosystem accounts for these approaches. Further, CSERGE directly supports the development of pilot ecosystem service accounts for crop pollination and recreation that are being developed at the EU’s Joint Research Centre.

 

Background:

This project builds on the increased efforts over the past few decades to go “beyond GDP” in the measurement of societal progress. While GDP and the underpinning System of National Accounts provides an indication of economic activities within a given region’s or nation’s markets, they do not provide useful information for the assessment of sustainability. The activities within this project will contribute to the global efforts to develop broader measures of development that reflect various dimensions of sustainable development such as System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) or Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES). The development of these new metrics are crucial for number of national, EU and global efforts such as Sustainable Development Goals, actions on Global Climate Change, Poverty Alleviation or Biodiversity Conservation.

 

Funding:

This project is funded by the European Commission for the period of 1 to 3 years.