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Parliamentary questions
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15 April 2019
E-001078/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001078/2019

The EU's economic prosperity is underpinned by its natural capital, i.e. its biodiversity and ecosystems that provide essential services like fertile soil, fresh water, clean air, pollination or climate regulation.

The 7th Environment Action Programme(1) highlights the need for natural capital accounting. It sets out to integrate the economic value of ecosystem services into accounting and reporting systems by 2020.

The Commission’s Knowledge Innovation Project for Natural Capital Accounting (KIP INCA)(2) aims to account for ecosystems services in monetary terms. The Commission supports The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)(3) initiative, which aims to make nature’s values visible; the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Experimental Ecosystem Accounts(4); and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)(5).

The Commission promotes integrating natural capital into corporate accounting and reporting through the EU Business@Biodiversity platform, and international initiatives such as the Natural Capital Protocol(6).

The non-financial reporting Directive 2014/95/EU(7) requires listed companies to disclose certain non-financial information. The related guidelines(8) explicitly mention the natural capital and recognises impacts and dependences on natural capital and biodiversity as one of the Key Performance Indicators available.

Also Directive 2004/35/EC(9) and its annexes on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage(10) requires economic valuation of the damage to protected species and natural habitats or damage to water when ‘primary remediation’ of the damaged natural resources and services is not possible.

(1)OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171‐200
(2)http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/capital_accounting/index_en.htm
(3)http://www.teebweb.org/
(4)https://seea.un.org/
(5)https://www.ipbes.net/
(6)https://naturalcapitalcoalition.org/natural-capital-protocol/
(7)OJ L 330, 15.11.2014, p. 1‐9
(8)OJ 2017/C 215/01
(9)OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 56‐75
(10)OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 56.

Last updated: 15 April 2019Legal notice