What is lost through no net loss

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No net loss approaches to environmental policy claim that policy should maintain aggregate levels of natural capital. Substitutability between natural assets allows losses in some assets to be compensated for by gains in others while maintaining overall levels of natural capital. This paper argues that significant goods that matter to people’s well-being will be lost through a policy of no net loss. The concepts of natural capital and ecosystem services that underpin the no net loss approach to environmental policy cannot capture important dimensions of value that are central to human well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-306
Number of pages20
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • de dicto
  • de re
  • ecosystem services
  • natural capital
  • offsets


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