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HELM TALKS: Natural Capital Lecture 8

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Dieter Helm's lecture series on Natural Capital

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HELM TALKS: Natural Capital Lecture 8

  1. 1. QUESTIONS Why have a plan? What should go into the plan? Assets or outputs? The milestones Credibility and legislation Institutions A possible alternative
  2. 2. QUESTIONS • Why have a plan? • What should go into a plan: outputs or assets? • Ecosystem services or natural capital? • The milestones • Credibility and legislation • The institutional framework
  3. 3. WHY HAVE A PLAN? • The overarching objectives “to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited” • Need strategy and investments to get there: current path is not remotely sustainable • Capital maintenance and enhancements and their funding and financing required on a long term basis • No other feasible way of stopping the rot
  4. 4. WHAT SHOULD GO INTO THE PLAN • Aims, objectives, goals, outputs? • A coherent integrated plan or a shopping list of politically attractive measures? • A set of principles • Measurable outcomes • Landscape-wide frameworks
  5. 5. ASSETS OR OUTPUTS • Natural capital and bequeathing a better set of assets to the next generation Or • Renewable outputs going up • Assets and capabilities and positive freedom Or • Utilities
  6. 6. THE MILESTONES • Thresholds to operationalise the plan • Setting intermediate targets • 5-year intervals – set ahead on rolling basis • Period 1: establish the 3 principles: public goods, pollution charges and net gain • Hold to account through continuous assessments
  7. 7. CREDIBILITY AND LEGISLATION • Lobbying and vested interests will attack key principles continuously • Examples: farmers, polluting industries, householders - anyone who loses existing subsidies and has to pay for their pollution • Investment horizons for long terms assets-in-perpetuity • Legal sanctions
  8. 8. INSTITUTIONS • The narrow watchdog/enforcers • The reporting function • The practical developer of the plan • The integration of multiple parties
  9. 9. A POSSIBLE FRAMEWORK Nature Act ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ONS TAXES, REGULATION, ENFORCEMENT, PROSECUTION RIVER CATCHMENTS UPLANDS/NATIONAL PARKS MARINE ORGANISATIONS URBAN AUTHORITIES +
  10. 10. SUMMARY • The plan matters – it’s a radical break • It needs clear goals, principles and supporting metrics • It needs a statutory underpinning • Milestones are essential • A new institutional architecture required – existing bodies not fit for these new functions.
  11. 11. BOOKS WWW.DIETERHELM.CO.UK

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