Why the Albanese government's 'nature repair market' is risky

Why the Albanese government's 'nature repair market' is risky

Manager of Policy & Strategy Tim Beshara explains why the government’s ‘nature repair market’ risks being ineffective and a dangerous distraction.

Australia’s in the midst of a wildlife extinction crisis. To turn this around, the federal government needs to put strong laws in place that actually protect nature, not support risky business schemes. Worryingly, the Albanese government is pushing ahead with a so-called 'nature repair market'. It's a distraction from the agenda nature needs.

Nature Repair Market submission

3,693 of you signed the Wilderness Society's Nature Repair Market submission to the government. Together, you demonstrated the widespread community concern about a nature repair market being prioritised by government ahead of national nature law reforms.

Nature needs strong laws, not risky business

  • It’s the government’s job to restore and protect nature. Which is why it's concerning that its 'nature repair market' encourages the private sector to carry this responsibility instead

  • The 'nature repair market' is a dangerous distraction from the government’s core responsibility: to strengthen Australia’s nature laws—and could even derail future policy progress

  • It’s also a diversion from urgent actions the Parliament must take to actually reverse biodiversity loss in Australia, like reforming the EPBC Act and creating an independent Environmental Protection Authority

  • There’s a real risk that governments could spend less money on the environment, believing that the 'nature repair market' would be enough to fund biodiversity protection

  • Markets can’t do what laws can, i.e. act in the public interest, and ban unacceptable impacts on nature

  • In fact, under a 'nature repair market', companies could be more likely to push back on policy reforms, which they may see as a constraint

Dangerous “greenwashing” and the continued decline of nature

  • A 'nature repair market' threatens the continued destruction of nature, as it could allow dodgy players to conduct business as usual and “offset” any impacts on nature through the scheme

  • There are serious integrity issues that come with a potential 'nature repair market'. The experience of state biodiversity offset schemes has highlighted these

You can't put a value on nature

  • Biodiversity can’t be valued by economic metrics alone, and so any market methodology chosen to assess the worth of a threatened species or ecosystem on the basis of a biodiversity value would be flawed

Extinction is a choice.

Extinction is a choice.

Will you email Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek today to let her know what nature actually needs right now is stronger laws to protect it?