Scottish Widows (unedited):
Incentivise capital flows into nature protection and restoration via regulation of the voluntary carbon market
There is a great opportunity for the UK government to incentivise corporates to buy carbon offsets in areas where traditional investments might not give them their desired returns.
The financing gap for nature preservation is billions of pounds but this can be reduced via voluntary corporate actions with money flowing into areas like peatland and soil restoration, forest and ocean conservation.
Demand for good quality carbon offsets will only continue to grow and if these offsets are structured with nature-related co-benefits, then this becomes a win-win, helping to secure both decarbonisation and nature preservation.
With companies potentially needing to put billions of pounds into offsets to meet their net zero commitments, the biggest barrier to date is the opacity of the voluntary carbon market.
This breeds mistrust, particularly as a number of bad actors have been exposed in the past.
What could really shift the dial here is the establishment of a UK regulator for carbon offsets.
This could set quality standards that corporations looking to do the right thing could trust, enabling them to allocate money with confidence in these offsets having additionality and really delivering on those climate and nature goals.
See report below