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European Commission Daily News 11th Ma

Biodiversity: Revolutionary change in economic relations to better take into account the contribution of nature to the economy

A new statistical framework to better take into account biodiversity and ecosystems in national economic planning and political decision-making, approved yesterday at the United Nations (UN), allows countries around the world to use a common set of rules and methods for monitoring changes in ecosystems and their services. The European Commission has supported the United Nations in developing this framework through contributions from scientists, statisticians and policy makers. The new framework goes beyond commonly used gross domestic product (GDP) data and ensures that natural capital – the contributions of forests, oceans and other ecosystems – is added to existing economic accounts. Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans said: “To tackle climate crises and biodiversity, we need to transform our business model. This new statistical framework goes beyond GDP and takes better account of biodiversity and ecosystems in national economic planning ”. Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius added: “This is a major development in changing the way we think about prosperity and well-being. Although nature makes a substantial contribution to our economy, it is largely invisible in our economic statistics. We need to transform our view and appreciation of nature and make its contribution to our lives part of the economic equation. For this, we must resort to rigorous methods to control investments, impacts and dependencies in relation to nature. The new framework is an important step in this direction, as it could fundamentally reorient economic and political planning towards sustainable development ”. The Commission will propose the revision of the regulation on European environmental economic accounts (CEEE) in order to extend its coverage to include a new module on natural capital accounting, fully compatible with the United Nations framework. The Green Deal for Europe calls for the management and integration of climate and environmental risks into the financial system, while the European biodiversity strategy for 2030 underlines the need to better integrate relative considerations. biodiversity in the decision-making process of public authorities and companies at all levels. More information is available in this communication.

Commissioner Sinkevičius speaks up for forests

Tomorrow, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, is participating in two events where he will stress the role of forests in tackling the twin climate and biodiversity crises. At 11:00 CET he will host a virtual citizens’ dialogue with Slovak citizens where he will answer questions by eco-activists, students, green influencers, representatives of NGOs on biodiversity, circular economy, the European Green Deal, climate adaptation and how forests are sustaining healthy ecosystems and helping the regulation of the climate cycle. The Minister of Environment of Slovakia, Ján Budaj will also be part of the citizens’ dialogue. You can join the citizens’ dialogue here, livestreamed in Slovak language. Commissioner Sinkevičius will then around 18:30 CET close the Global Forest Summit – a virtual high-level event organised under the patronage of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron with the motto ‘Protect Faster, Restore Stronger’. The Summit will highlight the role of forests in addressing global warming, reducing CO2 emissions, and preserving our nature ecosystems, acting this way also as a barrier against future pandemics. The Summit will gather high-level speakers such as ministers, CEOs and representatives of United Nations and international nature-focused organisations. In the run-up to COP 15 on Biodiversity, the IUCN World Conservation Congress and COP 26 on Climate, the panelists of the closing session of the Global Forest Summit will discuss the path to follow to definitively make forests one of the priority subjects on the international agenda for the next ten years. You can follow the Commissioner’s speech here. The European Commission is currently preparing its Forest Strategy, part of the new Biodiversity Strategy, and a public consultation is ongoing until 19 April. 

Read the European Commission Daily News in full here.

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