NEWS3 June 2020

Report calls for investment in research and innovation to address climate crisis

News UK

UK – Research and innovation (R&I) investment is needed to help businesses tackle the biodiversity and climate crises, according to a report by the Valuing Nature Programme.

A green earth held by human hands in a forest raised to the sun

The report, called Towards a natural assets research and innovation agenda in support of UK business and policy, is based on feedback from 200 organisations in the business, research, government and charity sectors, half of which were UK-based.

Companies supporting the report include Barclays bank and the food giant Nestle.

It says that UK businesses should get access to robust scientific research to help better assess businesses’ reliance and impact on nature, to measure nature’s value to a better degree in both monetary and non-monetary terms.

Research could also help businesses make better decisions and develop new models of working that reduces its impact on the environment, the report suggests.

The report states that investing in R&I means improving business-relevant research and data on natural assets, developing frameworks and standards that help businesses support the environment, and assistance in piloting potential solutions to the climate crisis.

These steps could help the UK meet its emissions targets and tackle biodiversity loss, according to the report.

Ian Cheshire, chairman of Barclays, said: “Companies understand they have responsibility for their environmental footprint, and that it is no longer someone else’s job. However, there is still an enormous amount of confusion and uncertainty about how to do this.

“Business cannot do this alone. It is keen to come to the ‘party’ but needs help – including research funding – to help R&I teams make the necessary advances.”