COP26: Climate Change Accounting Leaves Out Natural Capital – Bloomberg

The international system of accounts that tallies the economic and financial costs of global warming fails to include one vital asset: the environment itself.
Nice budget you’ve got there, Rishi Sunak. Too bad it’s missing something.
The U.K.'s outlook for lowering greenhouse-gas emissions is adding to the general skepticism about the prospects for action at COP26, the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference. The British treasury's interim report, which reviews plans for the U.K. to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, has been criticized as unduly pessimistic. It repeatedly stresses the short-term economic costs of acting on climate — ranging from renewable energy investments to lost fuel taxes — yet barely mentions the dreadful consequences of inaction, or the long-term benefits of preserving our environment. Indeed, the report mentions "environment" only four times, while drumming "costs" into readers' heads more than 40 times.
This bias isn't so surprising coming from the U.K. Treasury, staffed as it is mostly by people with backgrounds in economics and finance. But it reflects a serious intellectual problem at the very root of our failure to address planetary warming. Countries rely on an accepted international system of accounts to guide planning on economic and financial matters, and these accounts naturally emphasize financial assets. No similarly accepted system of environmental accounting exists to help us measure and preserve — or even properly see the value of — the environment and the services we draw from it.

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