Corporate demand for forest-related carbon removal ‘could generate $800 billion (£614bn) annually by 2050.
That’s according to a new analysis by the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which forecasts nature-based solutions to the climate crisis focused on reforestation and afforestation could have assets valued more than $1.2 trillion (£920bn) by mid-century.
The growth of the market could be such that could even surpass the current total market capitalisation of oil and gas majors, according to the report.
Figures also suggest technologies that remove carbon from the atmosphere could create trillion-dollar opportunities for investors in the coming years.
The analysis estimates technical solutions, such as direct air carbon capture, use and storage and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage could generate additional annual revenue of $625 billion (£480bn) by 2050.
Tech and oil majors, including Amazon, bp, Apple and Shell, have already announced commitments for a cash injection into forest-related solutions to achieve their net zero goals.
Fiona Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer at UN PRI, said: “We can’t achieve net zero without nature-based solutions. The pandemic has supercharged the investment case, especially in forestry, and this new analysis shows the magnitude of the opportunity.
“Forest finance has historically been small and largely the purview of the public sector. But policy and business momentum have now advanced to a critical mass for forests to begin emerging as a new asset class.”