In its recent response to the consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain regulations and implementation, the UK government announced the creation of 3 new nature markets, on biodiversity offsetting, nutrient mitigation (aka river pollution) and flood alleviation, in addition to carbon sequestration.
We find that the future biodiversity offset market fails to address the well-documented environmental integrity issues of biodiversity offsetting.
We also find that a number of features clearly favour speculators over conservation.
Crucially, the biodiversity offset market to be launched in November is set to be a compliance market, with demand guaranteed by the government, and will thus likely scale up much more and faster than voluntary offset markets.
Carbon offsetting for its part must first clean up its damaged credibility before pushing to become as well a compliance market. This explains the various initiatives promoting certification and integrity principles.
Overall, we understand the push for nature markets to be not so much about conservation as a desperate attempt at generating growth and reinventing the City in the wake of Brexit.