The Coalition for Private-sector Investment in Conservation (CPIC) in 2021 published a report showing the massive difference in private sector spend on climate change ($851 billion in 2021 according to Refinitiv) compared to the much smaller sums ($18 billion in 2020) on slowing the catastrophic rates of species extinctions.
Their report identified the lack of an agreed method for quantifying biodiversity as the main reason that private sector investment was being held back whereas for climate change there was the widely used tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent as the unit of climate change. The Global Biodiversity Framework had identified that between $600 – $800 billion a year was needed if the targets for slowing extinction rates were to be achieved.
This funding was not going to be available from governments or philanthropists and would need to come from the private sector, who were already achieving those levels of spend for climate change. In response to this call for the development of a biodiversity credit, the Wallacea Trust (a UK registered charity) convened a 60+ strong group of financial institutions (World Bank, IFC, IMF, Finance4Biodiversity, TNFD etc), corporates with Nature Positive commitments (GSK, Anglo-American, Sainsbury’s), consultancies (Nature Metrics, Space Intelligence, Arup, Nature Positive), academics with expertise on different ecoregions/taxa and biostatisticians.
This grouping led to vigorous debate and by early 2022 an agreed methodology for quantifying biodiversity improvements or avoided loss. The Wallacea Trust biodiversity credit methodology is open source and freely available.