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Briefing 1505: Economics of benefits for the environment – flood control, water purification, carbon sequestration, air quality and noise

This paper is taken from the section on regulatory services in the Natural England Research Report NERR033 ‘Microeconomic Evidence for the Benefits of Investment in the Environment – review’.

Year of Publication2012

11% of new houses in England since 2000 have been built on floodplains. Intensification of farming and draining of bogs have contributed to the increase in flooding. Currently the majority of water bodies in the UK fail to meet ecological and chemical targets but green infrastructure can help to purify waste water. It can also remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and sequester them over the long-term. Growth in UK forest cover will increase the amount of carbon held in biomass, but the effect is small compared to UK emissions. Vegetation reduces air pollution and noise.

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