Defining biodiversity loss as a future risk is just ‘biocrastination’, says Planet Tracker

Thought Leadership, Fixed Income

Engagement sheet available to download here.

New report from financial think tank urges corporates and financial markets to take immediate action over alarming biodiversity loss.

LONDON, 23 February 2023: Although biodiversity loss has begun to capture international attention, there is an apparent absence of urgency, according to Planet Tracker’s latest report, Biocrastination.

The 18th edition of the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Risks Report revealed that six of the world’s top 10 risks are related to the environment. However, whilst biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse ranked fourth in the 10-year period, they only ranked 18th over the next two years, suggesting a lack of urgency.

The recent biodiversity COP15 in Montral underscored the urgency of biodiversity loss. One of the best-known measures of how species are collapsing can be found in the Living Planet Reports. The latest 2022 report demonstrated an average decline of 69 per cent in the global Living Planet Index, based on almost 32,000 populations of over 5,200 species between 1970 and 2018. Other well-known indicators show a similar picture.

A number of the short-term risks identified in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report include climate change threats such as a failure to mitigate climate change (ranked fourth) and a failure of climate change adaptation (ranked seventh). The omission of biodiversity loss from this list implies a lack of understanding of the interdependence of climate and nature.

Planet Tracker’s Director of Research, John Willis, comments, “The problem with defining biodiversity loss as a distant risk is that action will not be taken to address the serious and significant short-term threats. Waiting another 10 years for further confirmation of these negative trends is not acceptable.

“The WEF data indicates that there is a perceived low level of risk preparedness for biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse – with only around 10% viewing risk management as either highly effective or effective – and only around 5% of respondents believing business carries the governance responsibility for this crisis. Investors and lenders across the world should demand a rethink from the executives of corporates and put an end to biocrastination”.

Planet Tracker is a non-profit financial think tank producing analytics and reports to align capital markets with planetary boundaries. Our mission is to create significant and irreversible transformation of global financial activities by 2030. By informing, enabling and mobilising the transformative power of capital markets we aim to deliver a financial system that is fully aligned with a net-zero, nature-positive economy. Planet Tracker proactively engages with financial institutions to drive change in their investment strategies. We ensure they know exactly what risk is built into their investments and identify opportunities from funding the systems transformations we advocate.

Media contact
Ophelia Jeffrey
Aspectus Group
+44 7584657646