Putting Private Finance to Work for Conservation
Private Sector Investment Is Key for Ecological Restoration
Ecological restoration is a huge climate and business opportunity in part because there is so much past damage, which thankfully can be fixed using current technology and methods. We have much work to do, as over half of our original wetlands in the lower 48 states have been drained.
Today, a network of rivers and streams 10 times the total length of the U.S. interstate highway system is significantly degraded by pollution, and the Department of Agriculture has predicted a possible net loss of 37 million acres of forest by 2060.
America’s ecological restoration industry is already taking on some of this work with available capital. For example, about $4 billion in wetland and stream restoration is carried out each year by private businesses that specialize in repairing damaged aquatic ecosystems. The ecological restoration must meet stringent government standards, or it can’t be valued under well-established net-zero federal wetland policies.
Unfortunately, a dramatic expansion of investment in climate resilience, water quality, and ecosystems is held back by government rules. A patchwork of outdated state and federal laws, approval processes, and government procurement strategies too often stifle private sector investment in ecological restoration.
Great article from Bloomberg. Read the entire article HERE.