UK launches project to overcome ‘gnarly barriers’ to investing in biodiversity

New GFI body will engage with investors and others to help develop financial products

The UK has launched a project to overcome the “real and quite gnarly barriers” to investing in nature-focused assets. 

The country's Green Finance Institute has today unveiled “GFI Hive”, which aims to co-design solutions that will allow large investors to allocate capital to protecting biodiversity in the UK.  

Helen Avery, GFI Hive’s Director, told RI that the industry must widen its focus from the risks that biodiversity loss poses to financial performance.  

“We need to move the conversation over to the opportunity side and that is what we are hoping to do through GFI Hive.” 

GFI recently estimated that £44bn to £97bn of extra funding would be needed to meet the UK’s nature-related goals over the next decade, but Avery said there were “real and quite gnarly barriers to getting money moving into nature at scale.” 

Hive will coordinate roundtables and interviews with asset managers, insurers, private equity houses and other stakeholders to understand their appetite for investing in UK nature restoration and nature-based solutions, as well as identifying current barriers. 

Avery said that, within the next 12 months, “we would love GFI Hive to have worked with partners to develop solutions that will see the UK on the cusp of having a portfolio of large-scale investments in nature restoration or nature-based solutions.” 

It will also work with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, which is developing a reporting framework for companies.  

Biodiversity has shot up the investor agenda in the past 18 months. In an overview on Friday, RI outlined recent increases in committed assets, disclosure guidelines and new financial products in the space.