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Earlier this month, the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment took place in Sapporo, Japan. The countries in the G7 are France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada. The communiqué of the meeting was published on 17 April 2023.

In that document, the ministers pledged their commitment to:

  • regularly publish national environmental-economic accounts guided by the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA)
  • include the accounts in their core national economic statistics to achieve the goal of having nature positive economies.

This is a very significant step for the G7 members and sends a strong signal to other trading partner countries and the business sector that it is time to account for nature.

As indicated by the G7 pledge, more and more countries around the world are adopting the SEEA. In December last year, Australia and the United States announced that they will embark on a joint approach to natural capital accounting using the SEEA.

The G7 ministers also said that they welcome and support the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) 5/5 resolution on nature-based solutions (NbS) for sustainable development. This resolution establishes the definition of NbS as:

actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and calls for more collaboration and resources.

The communiqué recognises the vital role that nature plays in human wellbeing. It outlines the benefits that can be achieved by conserving, protecting and restoring nature, along with sustainable future use. They communique recognises that NbS must be used for:

  • halting and reversing biodiversity loss
  • climate change mitigation and adaption
  • reducing disaster risk.

The Australia Government also supports the direction provided in the communiqué. Our Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, joined the G7 Minister’s meeting online. In his speech, he said that Australia wants to work with global partners, noting that “We all share in the challenges. And we all share in the possibilities. That’s why we must all act together. Australia will play our part.”

Carl Obst, Director of IDEEA Group and lead author the SEEA, welcomes the clear direction that the communiqué provides to the global community. He says: “This pledge continues the strong momentum towards a common language for the recognition of nature in decision making. I’m excited about the potential for announcements such as this to drive investment in natural capital accounting and its application.”

At IDEEA Group, we’re excited to be working with a range of governments around the world on natural capital accounting projects, measuring the benefits of nature in locations as diverse as Australia, Liberia and Saudi Arabia. As more and more governments come on board with the understanding that the SEEA is the best we have, we further commit to its use in a range of applications, including for the private sector.

Get in touch if you’d like to have a confidential discussion about how the SEEA can be applied to your unique business, organisational or geographical situation.