Natural capital comprises the elements of nature that directly or indirectly produce value to people (1). Natural assets lie above and below ground – comprising ecosystems, landscapes, soils, minerals, heat, winds and tides and are intimately entwined with our cultural heritage.
South West England has been endowed with the finest stocks of onshore and offshore natural capital in the UK which have been utilised to benefit of the economy and sustain life for many generations (2).
Natural assets like the wind, critical minerals and heat lie at the heart of the journey to net zero and the Green Industrial Revolution policies – which include offshore wind, the shift to zero emission vehicles, greener buildings, sequestrating carbon and protecting our natural environment (3). The challenges of national and regional competitiveness and resilience, decarbonisation and the climate emergency compel us to take a strategic, inclusive view of our natural assets with renewed focus on their potential contribution to addressing clean growth, sustainable development and well-being challenges.