Media statement: Australia and the United States to work together on measuring the economic value of nature

Australia and the United States have signed a ground-breaking agreement at COP15 in Montreal, pledging to work together to better measure the economic value of nature.

Putting a dollar value on nature will help governments and business consider environmental impacts more clearly, make better investment decisions, and move to a nature positive economy.

That’s good for environment, and good for business.

If we get this right, the work by Australia and the United States could be adopted worldwide.

We rightly value nature for its environmental and climate benefits, and for its beauty.

Yet we’re not as good at valuing the contribution of nature to our economy, jobs, or wellbeing.

People around the world rely on nature for their livelihoods. So it doesn’t make sense that our economy doesn’t properly recognise the dollar value of nature. It should.

There is an economic benefit to protecting and restoring nature. But we need more accurate data and accounting to fully measure that benefit. That’s what Australia and the United States will work on together.

The agreement will allow Australia and the United States to work together on:

  • Natural capital accounting to measure and report on the amount, condition and economic contribution of nature to jobs and wellbeing.
  • Environmental-economic statistics to organise statistical information to help decision-makers better understand how the economy and the environment interact.
  • Better measuring the value of nature-based solutions, such as restoring forests or planting mangroves – including how they help combat climate change, reduce disaster risk, improve human health, and strengthen food and water security.