Now people are outpacing Earth’s ability to maintain these essential services. Our economic systems not only ignore this unsustainable plunder, they encourage it. That’s led to a 70 per cent decline in mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian populations over the past 50 years. One million plant and animal species — one-quarter of the global total — now face extinction.

A big part of the problem is that destroying nature is more profitable than protecting it, and tools such as gross domestic product are not fit for assessing real economic health. GDP is “based on a faulty application of economics,” according to an independent review on the economics of biodiversity by University of Cambridge professor Sir Partha Dasgupta.