ZOne of the greatest global risks is the loss of biodiversity, according to the new “Global Risk Report” of the World Economic Forum. The economy depends to a large extent on an intact nature with diverse animal and plant life – not only agriculture and forestry or the pharmaceutical industry. For example, the question of sufficient water supply was a critical factor for the settlement of Tesla in Brandenburg.
According to the World Economic Forum, more than half of global gross domestic product depends on biodiversity. If nature becomes impoverished, companies face severe financial losses. Even if a few selected services of nature are no longer available, this could cause annual costs of more than 2.7 trillion dollars or a decline in global economic output of around 2.3 percent from 2030 onwards, according to a study by the World Bank.
But companies are hardly prepared for these scenarios. The vast majority have no concrete idea of the extent to which they depend on the resources and services of nature and to what extent they in turn put a strain on ecosystems and their productivity. Environmentalists offer support.
WWF presents online tool
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, the WWF on Monday the so-called biodiversity risk filter. Using the online tool, companies and financial institutions can identify biodiversity-related risks in their sites, value chains and investments and then make them more resilient.
These risks were also a topic at the World Conference on Nature in Montreal. The “Global Framework for Biological Diversity”, which the international community adopted in December, provides for stopping the loss of biodiversity by 2030 and initiating a turnaround. This only works if you no longer manage at the expense of nature.
For such a transformation, however, knowledge of the mutual relationships between the economy and nature is required. For this reason, the International Convention on Nature contains, among other things, a requirement for companies to report on biodiversity. By 2030, the contracting states should ensure that large and transnational companies and financial institutions regularly monitor, assess and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biological diversity. And also along the supply and value chains.
New obligation for 50,000 companies
Environmentalists, scientists and even hundreds of companies, such as the “Make it Mandatory” initiative, had campaigned for mandatory reporting. The states at the World Conference on Nature could not agree on this. “But even with the current formulation, we have a strong result,” says Ingmar Jürgens, co-founder and managing director of the start-up “Climate & Company”, which advises decision-makers on protecting the climate and biodiversity.