Natural Capital Committee (NCC)

The Natural Capital Committee advised the government on natural capital, such as ecosystems, soils, freshwaters, and oceans.

Role of the group

The Natural Capital Committee was an independent advisory committee which ran from 2012 to December 2020. Many of the functions of the NCC have now transferred to the Office for Environmental Protection.

The NCC advised the government on natural capital, including ecosystems, species, freshwaters, soils, minerals, the air and oceans, as well as natural processes and functions.

The NCC was chaired by Sir Dieter Helm. The committee’s initial term ran from 2012 to 2015. The second term ran from 2016 to 2020.

Advice on government’s 25 Year Environment Plan

During its second term (2016 to 2020) the committee focused on helping the government develop its 25 Year Environment Plan.

The plan is underpinned by the committee’s vision to secure a positive environmental legacy for future generations. The committee created a framework for measuring progress against the 25 Year Environment Plan and presented this in its Final Response to the 25 Year Environment Plan Progress Report.

This framework, alongside other areas of the committee’s advice, laid the foundation for the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) to monitor and report on environmental improvement.

The NCC’s full remit and functions however, as detailed in its terms of reference, will not transfer over to the OEP.

Terms of Reference

Natural Capital Committee terms of reference (PDF, 27.4 KB, 4 pages)


The committee consisted of 7 experts.

  • Professor Dieter Helm – Chairman
  • Professor Melanie Austen
  • Professor Ian Bateman
  • Professor Christopher Collins
  • Professor Paul Leinster
  • Professor Colin Mayer
  • Professor Kathy Willis

Natural Capital Committee members' biographies (PDF, 14.6 KB, 2 pages)


The committee’s end of term report was published on 2 November 2020.

The committee’s other publications are available in this document collection.

This includes reports on:


Videos summarising the advice the committee provided are available on the Natural Capital Committee’s YouTube Channel.