Scrap net gain tariff system, says government’s natural capital adviser

The government’s independent adviser on natural capital has said it does not support the use of a tariff-based system to underpin the biodiversity offsetting aspect of net gain.

Any tariff system paid into by developers who cannot offset habitat loss on site would have “the real potential to be bureaucratic, costly and distortionary,” according to the Natural Capital Committee in its report on net gain and the government’s 25-Year Environment Plan, published yesterday.

The government’s consultation on biodiversity net gain, launched late last year, suggested  developers may be required to pay a biodiversity net gain tariff if they cannot avoid or mitigate habitat impacts on site. But the committee believes consideration should instead be given to “the design of simple principles which obviate the need for a centrally controlled tariff system.”

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