Innovative nature projects awarded funding to drive private investment and tackle climate change

A Calderdale project is one of the 27 schemes to receive funding.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 6:00 am
A Calderdale project is one of the 27 schemes to receive funding

A project to improve woodland cover and lead to wider natural flood management in the Upper Calder and Colne catchment is amongst an initial 27 schemes to benefit from a pioneering new fund to drive private investment in nature and tackle climate change, Defra, the Environment Agency & Natural England have announced today (Wednesday).

Organisations across England have been awarded up to £100,000 each, as part of the ground-breaking £10 million Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund.

The funding will be used to develop the projects to the point they can provide a return on investment by capturing the value of carbon, water quality, biodiversity and other benefits provided by natural assets such as woodlands, peatlands, catchments and landscapes.

Funding has been awarded to environmental groups, businesses and local authorities to develop projects that protect and enhance nature while also demonstrating innovative approaches to generating revenues from the wide range of benefits that nature provides.

The National Trust has received £98,000 to improve woodland cover and lead to wider natural flood management in the Upper Calder and Colne catchment, leading to landscape change and monetising a suite of ecosystem service benefits such as from natural flood risk outcome payments, carbon, and biodiversity credits.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “To tackle the environmental challenges we face from climate change and biodiversity loss, it is crucial that domestic natural environment projects are able to attract private investment alongside support from the public sector.

“Unleashing innovation and growing new sources of finance, such as through the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund, are fundamental for delivering nature recovery and developing nature-based solutions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd said: “With the right structure, nature-based projects can be scaled up by private finance, helping to reduce emissions, prepare for climate shocks and create jobs.

“From a new business model for multi-functional forestry in Yorkshire, to an investment fund to transform farmland in Norfolk, these projects will provide evidence of funding models to make industries fit for the future, reach net zero by 2050, and create a nature positive future.

“With COP26 coming to the UK this year, this demonstrates how to create investable propositions for nature based solutions to the climate emergency.”