New finance initiative aims to mobilise US$10 billion for nature-based solutions

The newly launched Natural Capital Investment Alliance was announced at a summit where over 50 countries pledged to conserve 30 per cent of Earth’s land and water by 2030.

Natural Capital wetland
Natural Capital provides people and communities with beneficial ecosystem services; finance is urgently needed to preserve these benefits. Image: Andy Arthur, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

An alliance of capital investors backed by Britain’s Prince Charles aims to raise US$10 billion by 2022 to fund natural solutions to climate change.

Called the Natural Capital Investment Alliance, the fund is backed by financiers including HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management, Swiss private bank Lombard Odier and investment manager Mirova.

Natural capital is the stock of the planet’s natural renewable and non-renewable resources, such as water, plants, minerals, and air, which provide beneficial ecosystem services.

The investment industry must urgently direct private capital toward restoring and preserving these natural services, said Christof Kutscher, executive chairman of HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management.

By engaging the investment management industry, the alliance aims to mobilise US$10 billion for natural solutions by 2022 and develop natural capital as an investment theme.

“We recognise nature is capital,” Kutscher said.

Prince Charles announced the alliance on Monday (11 January) at the One Planet Summit led by France in coordination with the United Nations and World Bank. The alliance is part of sustainability charter Terra Carta — Earth Charter — which sets out a roadmap for “businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future”.

During the summit, a group of over 50 countries called the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People pledged to conserve 30 per cent of Earth’s land and water by 2030.

Research by the World Economic Forum shows that more half of global gross domestic product (GDP) is dependent on nature and its services, Yet, there is still a significant funding gap for nature conservation, estimated at US$600 billion to US$800 billion per year.

Furthermore, investment in nature-based solutions has been hindered by lack of standardised data, a 2019 report by the Natural Capital Coalition found.

To overcome these hurdles, members of the alliance will share their investment knowledge to help the industry “arrive at common language on natural capital investment,” said Charles, the Prince of Wales.

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