Is nature finance feasible?

Financing the protection and restoration of nature has been a consistent theme for us at GEFI, and Ethical Finance Global 2022 was no different. Our panel on nature saw Sarah Breeden of the Bank of England join, after her speech setting out the Bank’s initial response to nature as a financial risk, alongside Kathy Benini of S&P Global, Alessandra Mongiardino, Ph.D. of NatWest Group and Christof Kutscher of Climate Asset Management, with Romie Goedicke of United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) moderating.

The panel discusses the conditions for growing nature markets, with Kathy Benini emphasising the need for prices, benchmarks and good data. Cristof Kutscher described the slow process of nature investing. Not only is nature itself slow, but it is a challenging area, so finance has been slow to come around to it. Nature as an asset does not fall neatly into the buckets that an institutionalised industry like finance creates, so it can fall through the cracks. Alessandra Mongiardino suggested the use of partnerships to overcome knowledge gaps on emerging areas like nature, such as NatWest Group’s partnership with Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

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