Global biodiversity loss estimated at 14 trillion Euros

15 09 2008

A recent post from Ecology & Policy

Yet more evidence that we have to stop the extinction crisis.

A new report commissioned by the European Commission – ‘The Cost of Policy Inaction (COPI): The case of not meeting the 2010 biodiversity target’ – indicates that biodiversity is set to continue declining. Key drivers of biodiversity loss include overexploitation, invasion of non-native species and conversion of natural habitat to agricultural landscapes.

It has long been known that ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services to humankind, such as the provision of clean water, climate regulation, food and clothing, flood protection to mention but a few. Although these goods and services (Ecosystem Services (ES)) provided by biodiversity have been widely recognised, so far efforts to put a monetary value on these services has proved difficult at best.

The new report attempts to value ecosystem services in terms of the cost to the global economy of future biodiversity loss as a result of policy inaction. The study used a baseline valuation from 2000 to extrapolate ES loss to 2050, assuming predicted population growth takes place with the associated demand for energy and resources and that average global GDP increases 2.8% per annum with the highest growth in China and India.

The key findings of the study include:

  • 50 billion € worth of biodiversity providing ecosystem services is being lost each year
  • Land-based ecosystem loss is estimated at 545 billion € by 2010
  • Annual loss in ecosystem services from biodiversity loss could exceed 14 trillion € by 2050

This study is part of a much larger research effort on a global scale: The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity. It is hoped this study will result in a much wider global awareness of the cost of losing biodiversity and associated ES to mankind in an economic context, and ultimately result in a ‘valuation toolkit’ that will provide environmental economists and policy-makers a standardised approach to ES valuation.

Download the report here.



3 responses

21 04 2016
The Conversation: Nature is neglected in this election campaign – at its and our own peril | Euan Ritchie

[…] world economy is losing €50 billion (A$73 billion) a year through lost ecosystem services. It is predicted to lose €14 trillion per year by 2050 without action now. With potentially 7% of […]


18 07 2013
Guilty until proven innocent |

[…] cuts. It’s not just the biodiversity itself that’s suffering – society is losing trillions of dollars worth of biowealth and our natural wealth-adjusted index of economic prosperity has been declining since […]


15 09 2008

The important thing to remember however, is that this number is perceived to account for most of the observed, accumulated CO 2 in the atmosphere. Economy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: