05 Sep The Spanish energy sector launches the first Working Group on Natural Capital and Energy worldwide
Preserving the good health of biodiversity and ecosystems is increasingly recognized as one of the global challenges that define our time. To ensure that their management and use are carried out in a sustainable manner is part of the transformative change demanded at all levels of society to move towards more sustainable economies, while development is guaranteed.
In this context, the important role that sectors carrying a great weight in the economy and interaction with the environment (energy, agri-food and finance, among others) can play to promote this transformative change is unquestionable. Aware of this, eight Spanish energy-sector companies have started a collaborative project to have a greater and better understanding of their relationship with nature.
Representatives from Cepsa, EDP España, Enagás, Endesa, Red Eléctrica Group, Iberdrola, Naturgy and Repsol will share knowledge and work together to have a natural capital identification, measurement and valuation methodology adapted to their different characteristics and consistent with the current context.
Through the application of the Natural Capital Protocol of the Natural Capital Coalition –first-ever standarised framework developed to help businesses to measure and assess their interactions and dependencies on natural capital- Azentúa and Ecoacsa will provide the participants in the first Working Group on Natural Capital and Energy at a global scale the necessary tools to establish a roadmap for the integration of natural capital in the Spanish energy sector.
The initiative is part of the “Sector Groups” of the Natural Capital Factory, the Spanish regional platform of the Natural Capital Coalition, whose aim is to guarantee that nature is included in business decisions worldwide.
The project aims to serve as a reference to other companies and sectors and to motivate them, both at national and international scale, to undertake similar collaborative learning processes and share good practices to expand action in favor of sustainable development. To this end, the work carried out within the group will be reflected in a publication drawing companies´ experience in applying the Natural Capital Protocol. The document will collect examples of the challenges and solutions found in the process of mainstreaming natural capital into decision-making of the Spanish energy sector, as well as applied cases.
The setting up of this working group is aligned with the need for committed action at all scales by all economic and social actors -public and private- to preserve the quality and quantity of environmental assets and their ecosystem services (ES) such as the provision of food, raw materials, the regulation of water and carbon cycles, and pollination, among others.
This call to action has been reinforced by recent global studies, such as the Global Risks Report 2019 by the World Economic Forum and the assessments on soil degradation and restoration and the state of biodiversity and ecosystem services by the Scientific-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, which is the equivalent to IPCC when it comes to biodiversity).
These publications warn that environmental risks are the risks of greatest concern of all analised in terms of probability and impact (food crisis, failure of national governance, unemployment). In addition, they affect the relationship between soil deterioration and phenomena such as the loss of species (there are one million species at risk of extinction) and migrations; or pollution and mortality increase.
To halt the continued deterioration of natural resources and services and effectively implement their sustainable use is intimately linked to the 2030 Agenda´s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change. This project will support companies in addressing these challenges from the environmental aspect of sustainability perspective.
Collaborative and plural spirit, an international reference
The collaborative and plural nature of the Working Group on Natural Capital and Energy, which includes representatives of the divisions of Sustainability, Environment, Safety, Quality and Regulation from electricity generation; oil and gas; global operating electricity and telecommunication infrastructures; management and operation of gas infrastructures network make it unique in the world.