A symptom of this trend, in particular in the forestry and wider land use sector, has been a striking interest in nature-based solutions and carbon markets; within the Confor membership, several new businesses have started dedicated carbon forestry ventures in the last few years. Land agents have reported a rise in the value of natural assets overall, which is reflected in soaring sales prices for not only commercial woodlands but also land suitable for afforestation or peatland restoration. Simon Hart of John Cleggs & Co says “even poor ground in Scotland is now selling at £5000/ha and more, which is more than treble values seen in the recent past”.
For climate change mitigation, more or less robust market-based incentives in the form of carbon credit schemes exist, and National net zero strategies provide a strong framework and pull for companies to take tangible climate action.
However, climate change and the deterioration of nature and biodiversity are strongly interlinked. In the last six months, many in the business and finance community have woken up to the need to monitor impacts on nature. Biodiversity regulations and certification requirements are likely to tighten resulting in the need for robust and scalable metrics.