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Biden administration to measure nature’s economic impact

The Biden administration’s 15-year agenda to make nature a measurable part of the country’s economy is moving forward.

At a recent ocean biodiversity summit, federal officials touted the plan to quantify the country’s natural assets and the services provided by healthy ecosystems, like tree canopies that can cool urban areas or kelp forests that prevent coastline erosion.

At the end of the process, the administration says researchers and policymakers will have access to data and statistics that help them take those natural services into account.

Our traditional measures of economic activity are great at capturing market transactions, per Richard Ready, an environmental economist with Montana State University.

“If I get in my car and drive down to Utah and go mountain biking,” then parts of that trip will be reflected in economic data,…

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