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What's Nature's Economic Value? - Pavan Sukhdev

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Uploaded on Sep 15, 2010

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/08/03/Pavan_Sukhd...

Economist Pavan Sukhdev argues that in order to protect nature from damage caused by industrial growth, natural resources must be measured in terms of economic value. This viewpoint, he explains, can expose companies that destroy more wealth than they create.

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Environmental damage is already costing us trillions a year, according to Pavan Sukhdev, head of the UN Green Economy Initiative. Sukhdev applies numbers to things that nature does for free -- like purifying drinking water, supplying food and fuel, protecting coasts from storms, and generally keeping humans alive and healthy.

The cost of the global financial crisis stunned the world, with an estimated $862 billion in direct government bailouts alone. After years of running down our natural capital, are we getting close to an environmental version of the credit crunch?

Climate change has been grabbing most of the headlines in recent years, but we are now up against many environmental limits at once. Sukhdev looks at what this tells us about the limitations of our economic system and how it needs to change. The pioneering economist (who also works for Deutsche Bank) describes what the global economy would look like with nature on the balance sheet.

His talk was presented by the Centre for Policy Development at the Sydney Opera House. Afterwards, he joined a panel consisting of leading business people, climate change advocates and scientists. - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Pavan Sukhdev is Special Advisor and Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, a major project suite to demonstrate that the greening of economies is not a burden on growth but rather a new engine for growth, employment and the reduction of persistent poverty.

Sukhdev is also Study Leader for the G8+5 commissioned report on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), a project he was appointed to lead in March 2008 by the EU Commission and Germany whilst still working full-time at Deutsche Bank. TEEB's Interim Report was welcomed globally for its fresh economic outlook, showing the economic significance of the loss of nature's services, and connecting biodiversity and ecosystems with ethics, equity and the alleviation of poverty.

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