It’s been estimated that nature is worth as much as $100 trillion annually to the global economy. Yet we take most of Nature’s services for granted, imagining them to be free and limitless.
Tony Juniper used to run Friends of the Earth. Now he’s written a book, titled What Has Nature Ever Done For Us? with the aim of changing the way we think about life, nature and the economy. On Jan 10 we went to one of the RSA’s Lunchtime Events to hear him speak, in conversation with Jo Confino.
The point that Tony gets across in his book is that we’ve lost sight of the dependence we have on nature in economic terms, and that we’re ‘blowing natural capital’ in a way that doesn’t make sense for our long-term welfare. He argues that the global economy is underpinned by natural resources and, rather than ruthlessly exploiting them, we should find a way of putting a proper value on them. Nature does so much for us – and it will keep doing this – but we need to take steps to make sure that it happens.