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Loss of nature could have a devastating effect on public finances, study shows

The loss of plant and animal species around the world could have a devastating effect on public finances, a new study claims.

Researchers say ecological destruction is pushing many developing nations towards bankruptcy by driving downgrades in countries’ credit ratings, debt crises and soaring borrowing costs.

This is because nature and biodiversity keep economies ticking over – from bees that pollinate crops to plants that prevent flooding – and their loss carries hefty economic costs. 

Going bankrupt and defaulting on debt would mean governments having to raise taxes, cut spending or increase inflation — all of which would hurt ordinary workers the most. 

The problem is particularly acute in low- and middle-income countries, according to a team of economists led by Cambridge…

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