New £ 10million fund to boost investment in nature



Nature projects that tackle climate change, create and restore habitats or improve water quality could soon benefit from a new £ 10million fund to help them benefit both the environment and attracting private sector investment, the government said.

The Investment readiness fund in the natural environment will provide grants of up to £ 100,000 to local authorities, environmental groups, businesses and other organizations to help them develop nature projects in England to a point where they can attract private investment.

This will create a pipeline of projects for the private sector to invest in, as well as the development of new funding models that can be replicated elsewhere, demonstrating the UK’s leadership in nature funding ahead of COP26 in November. .

Here are some examples of projects that could be eligible for the fund:

  • Creating new forests and restoring peatlands, providing habitat for wildlife, green spaces for the public, and carbon sequestration to help the government meet its net zero goal. This will generate carbon units that can be sold to companies wishing to offset their emissions.
  • The creation of new coastal wetlands, which benefit wildlife and reduce flooding caused by tides, while attracting investment from developers to generate a net gain in biodiversity and even generate income through ecotourism.
  • Restoration of river watersheds, contributing both to improving water quality and reducing the risk of flooding. In addition to benefiting nature and people, these environmental benefits will provide financial incentives to water companies (with reduced costs for water treatment) and encourage them to invest.

The pioneer fund, which is provided by the Environment Agency on behalf of Defra, will help organizations obtain expert advice, engage investors and build capacity to develop their project until it is completed. ready to receive and repay the investment.

Commenting, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Our 25 years The Environmental Plan has made it clear that while the public sector will continue to be a central source of funding, it is essential that it be accompanied by increased private sector investment to protect and enhance our natural environment.

“Investors rightly recognize environmental factors as key value drivers. As we seek to rebuild greener after the pandemic, I encourage all businesses, local authorities, NGOs or other interested organizations to bid for a portion of this fund. “

Environment Agency President Emma Howard Boyd added: “The government is calling for a green industrial revolution at the same time as investors, including those saving for their pensions, seek economic returns that reverse the natural decline and manage climatic shocks.

“There are already examples of what is happening, but the global economy needs more evidence if it is to reach a tipping point that mobilizes billions of dollars for nature. This fund will help, by demonstrating funding models that can be replicated, delivering long-term economic and environmental benefits and showing UK leadership ahead of COP26. “

The fund is open for applications until March 26, 2021 and will help honor the commitments made by the government 25-year environmental plan and Green Finance Strategy, as well as to support the Prime Minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution.


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