UK Natural Capital: Monetary Estimates, 2016
Natural assets provide a wide range of environmental services that make human life possible: the food we eat, the water we drink and less visible services such as climate regulation and the inspiration we take from wildlife and the natural environment. Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have been developing methods to value these services, aiming to highlight the relative importance of services provided by the UK’s natural assets. In 2014, services provided by the environment played a key role in supporting the incomes of certain UK industries; 16% of profits from agricultural production can be attributed to services provided from our natural resources; 37% for public water supply; and 87% for fish production. The value of wind energy to the power generation industry has grown by 233% since 2007, while the value of abstracting non-renewable sources including oil, gas and minerals fell from £189 billion to £23 billion. In 2014, UK natural capital assets supplying cultural (recreation) and regulating (air filtration) services made up the largest proportion of the natural capital assets currently measured.