A TEEB coordinator's vision
Patrick ten Brink is head of the Brussels office of the Institute for European Environmental Policy, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing environmental sustainability in Europe.
Ten Brink coordinated the TEEB end-user report for policy makers. Momentum is growing when it comes to understanding the value of nature. We put five questions to him.
What is the key message of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity?
"The interaction between climate change and biodiversity is fundamentally synergistic. For example, if we don't deal with climate change, we will lose our coral reefs. They are very sensitive to temperature. Five hundred million people around the world depend on coral reefs. Their disappearance means that communities are losing their fish stocks and tourism value, but most of all they will lose their natural climate hazard defence systems.
By accepting a two-degree rise in temperature, we have already given up our coral reefs. We shouldn't do that; its unacceptable. Another example: green carbon stores 18 to 25 percent of our global CO2 emissions. This is a major carbon sink, but we are running it down, causing it to emit carbon as well. So, if we really want to address climate change, we've got to stop deforestation" read more »