The economics of nature-based solutions

Invest4Nature is an EU-funded Research and Innovation project that contributes to the creation of a market for nature-based solutions (NBS).  Over the course of 4 years, 15 European partners from research, industry and the public sector join forces to develop a better understanding of the economic and financial performance of nature-based solutions and to promote investments in the measures. This serves as a basis for the development of a market to enable a broad deployment of nature-based solutions. 

  • General challenge 

  • Climate change is threatening earth’s biodiversity and human wellbeing. NBS are a powerful measure to solve that 

  • Quantified economic and social benefits of NBS are still poorly understood  

  • Missing financial data makes for poor financial models and lack of investment in NBS 

  • Challenges for different stakeholders

These general challenges pose specific challenges to certain stakeholders, such as:

  • Policy makers do not have an understanding of the role of NBS for future climate-resilient and circular economic structures yet 

  • NBS providers do not develop their business models along a standardized framework 

  • Public and private investors have no financial data on costs and benefits of NBS yet  

  • Objectives and expected outcomes

Invest4Nature pursues a set of objectives that all contribute to the creation of flourishing markets for NBS. Some of the main outcomes include:

  • Creation of thorough understanding of the economic costs and benefits of NBS to enable the creation of business models and suitable market conditions for NBS 

  • Development of a decision support tool to enable private & public stakeholders make informed decisions on NBS investments with highest social impacts and highest expected net present value 

  • Creation of a multi-stakeholder online marketplace as a space for engagement and information sharing 

  • Establishment of a European NBS investment community 

  • The project in a nutshell

  • Duration: July 2022 – June 2026

  • 15 partners from 11 countries 

  • 5 Living Labs with NBS cases in Austria, Denmark, Norway, Poland and Portugal 

  • Funded by the Horizon Europe programme of the European Union 

  • Project structure

Invest4Nature has four project phases: 

  • Study and conceptual phase: The consortium compares existing works and collects the necessary data for the development of advanced framework and tools. This phase aims to develop a framework and methodologies for valuing NBS benefits and costs as a basis for stocktaking of evidence and knowledge of NBS economics and financing. 

  • Understand stakeholder need and co-create solutions: Invest4Nature’s Living Labs are set up in Austria, Denmark, Norway, Poland and Portugal 

  • Empower stakeholders and assists the creation of NBS markets: Development of datasets, toolboxes, business and financing models, policy frameworks, coaching and training programmes. 

  • Reach out: The consortium catalyzes the impact of the solutions, business and finance models developed by reaching policy makers, decision makers, NBS developers, and other interested organizations in the results of Invest4Nature.