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Natural capital is strongly interlinked with green infrastructure and sustainability, and is wholly intent on the notion that natural resources should be upheld as a primary way of delivering viable services and solutions for individuals both locally and globally. Coined by economist E. In recent years the natural capital concept has continued to gain recognition and grow in popularity as some parts of government and various industries have attempted to mount a case as to why the environment should be held in a much higher regard by businesses.
Image: EEA The core components of natural capital, detailed above, illustrate the different subsets of natural resources and how they can be utilised as viable energy options and supplements. With various levels of access to geological and ecological resources, natural capital champions accessible sustainability for businesses worldwide.
So What Actually is Natural Capital? Natural capital aids humans in creating a range of sustainable services, typically known as ecosystem services which can help to facilitate human life, and the necessities that make makes day-to-day human life possible. When we cast our minds to ecosystem services, the first things that spring to mind are essential food supplies and drinking water, as well as plant materials that we use for fuel, construction and medicines.
In addition to this, natural capital also covers the wider spectrum of ecosystem services that we can take from sustainability, like the many cases where humans use the natural environment and wildlife for design inspiration of services.
Human capital, alongside manufactured capital and financial capital is commonly considered a major factor in financial and managerial decision-making. The wider aim is to ensure that businesses and individuals alike not only adhere to the flow of benefits in the form of ecosystem services that the environment offers, but also its capacity to yield these benefits in the form of natural capital stocks.
Putting a Price on Nature The notion of placing a valuation on natural resources seems unnerving at a glance. However, there are plenty of arguments for appropriating value as a means of securing sustainability. Those benefits have been taken for granted — and we are using them at a rate that the Earth cannot replenish. Doing this can help to offer businesses more sustainable choices, like market-based conservation practices that could ultimately prove crucial in keeping nature protected from significant levels of consumption.
The benefactors of natural resources extend way beyond businesses to individuals and society as a whole. This, in turn, can help to create a steady and sustainable flow of consumption over time, rather than the Wild West-style free-for-all that some natural locations are suffering from such as in the Amazon Rainforest. But widespread population growth and consumption have led to the introduction of the Earth Overshoot Day theory.
With an ever-increasing demand for resources from around 7. Not only that, but there has been plenty of studies that have calculated the value of natural capital in real financial terms. This is done through atmospheric regulation and flood prevention. Natural capital projects can be broad and far-reaching. Whether it involves creating new wetlands for greater biodiversity purposes or improving water quality in regions and local areas, or maintaining salt marshes and restoring woodlands, there are plenty of ways for organisations to get involved in championing natural capital in order to improve the environment.
Despite natural capital projects coming in all shapes and sizes, the most common cause for businesses and organisations pertains to the reduction of carbon usage, as this is a more quantifiable and tradeable benefit due to the global carbon market. For instance, in Surrey, UK, stakeholders created four wetland nature reserves — helping to restore essential minerals and natural flood defences to the Redhill area alongside fresh public spaces.
The move also benefited biodiversity conservation and led to new habitats for wildlife in the area while also offering new development opportunities for the leisure industry in the area. These natural climate solutions can help to significantly mitigate the seismic task of combating global warming, and keeping the world within its 2-degree target by What Is Natural Gas?
Natural gas is a mixture of gases created deep underground as pressure and heat transformed carbon and hydrogen-rich plant and animal remains millions of years ago. Sources of Natural Gas Natural gas is found in four main places as follows: Conventional natural gas occurs in spaces between layers of overlying rock formations. Unconventional natural gas, also known as shale gas or tight gas, is found in small spaces within sedimentary rock such as sandstone or shale formations.
Associated natural gas occurs with crude oil deposits. Coal bed methane is found in coal deposits. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in sedimentary rock account for the majority of the increase in natural gas production since and shale gas currently accounts for roughly two-thirds of the total natural gas produced.
Each of these segments has unique characteristics and unique investment opportunities and risks. Below we provide a summary of the main segments. In general, in the Natural Gas value chain, the closer you are to the end-user, the potentially more stability you have in your investments. This includes exploration, processing and field equipment and services companies. Profits for these companies are usually highly correlated with natural gas and oil prices.
Midstream companies can often pass through fluctuations in natural gas prices to their customers and therefore their profits are not as correlated with natural gas and oil prices. The infrastructure and processing required to convey natural gas from wells to residential consumers, commercial manufacturing or electric power plants can be simplified into 3 main steps as follows: Storage. During periods of low demand, natural gas is stored in depleted natural gas or oil fields, salt caverns and aquifers.
Natural gas is delivered from processing plants to customers or storage areas via three types of transmission pipelines: interstate, intrastate and local distribution pipelines called Hinshaw pipelines. Liquefied natural gas LNG. This allows special tanker trucks or ships to economically deliver natural gas to places pipelines cannot reach. Downstream companies refine crude oil and market the finished products, such as gasoline and jet fuel, to customers in the U. Profits from downstream business also tend to be relatively well-insulated from commodity price fluctuations.
End-user distribution companies, primarily power plant utilities use natural gas in their operations as a fuel to produce electricity. Even more than mid-stream companies, these utilities can pass through fluctuations in natural gas prices to their customers and therefore their profits are not correlated with natural gas and oil prices. Natural Gas Uses Natural gas is primarily used for residential and commercial heating and cooling.
For example, gas heats approximately half of the homes in the US. In addition to being a vital energy source, natural gas has many other uses and byproducts, such as: Acting as a raw material in the production of chemicals and materials such as paints, medicines, synthetic fibers and plastics.
Providing byproducts such as ammonia and natural-gas liquids NGLs like propane and ethane. Enabling compressed natural gas CNG for vehicles to use in place of gasoline or diesel fuel. Natural Gas Price Drivers Natural gas has seen a long trend of fairly stable pricing.
Still, gas is a commodity that has limited alternatives, at least in the short-term, and as such, short-term changes in supply or demand may result in minor price changes to stabilize the market. Supply side. Decreased supply from reduced natural gas production, storage inventory levels or imports often raises prices. These price increases often lead to increased supply which in turn brings prices back down.
Demand side. The weather is by far the primary driver of demand in any given season. But, the level of demand for natural gas has evened throughout the year due to the increased use of natural gas for electricity production. This is because in addition to gas heating homes in winter months, utilities rely more on gas to satisfy commercial and residential need for electricity for air conditioning in summer months. Other factors that affect demand for gas include the economy, as manufacturing or residential building ramps up or down, the market for LNG exports and the price of oil.
As stated above, a rise in oil prices increases demand for natural gas, which in turn causes natural gas prices to rise.
Guide to Investing in Natural Gas Risks of Investing in Natural Gas. Any investment comes with risks. Lower supply: If shale oil producers decrease Current Outlook for Investing in . Sep 15, · Why We Should Invest in Natural Capital. By investing in natural capital, it’s possible to deliver or contribute to the provision of infrastructure services – helping to reduce . Oct 23, · A natural hedge refers to a strategy that reduces financial risks in the normal operation of an institution. It is typically done by investing in different assets and financial .