Amazon grants €1.5m for carbon-sequestering seaweed farm located on offshore windfarm
Retail giant Amazon has unveiled funding support to scale carbon-sequestering seaweed farms located between offshore wind turbines off the coast of the Netherlands.
Amazon is granting €1.5m to create a first-of-its-kind seaweed farm as well as supporting scientific research into the carbon reduction qualities of these types of projects.
The North Sea Farm 1 will be located on a wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. It has been designed to test and improve methods of seaweed farming, while researching the potential of seaweed to sequester carbon.
The grant will support the creation of a 10-hectare seaweed farm, which is expected to produce at least 6,000kg of fresh seaweed in its first year. As it is located in the empty space between turbines, the project is able to expand seaweed growth in the North Sea.
Amazon claims that if seaweed farming were to expand and occupy all the space between turbines on windfarms, approximately one million hectares could be cultivated by 2040. This, in turn, could reduce millions of tonnes of CO2 annually.
“Seaweed could be a key tool in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, yet it’s currently farmed at a relatively small scale in Europe,” Amazon’s EU sustainability director Zak Watts said.
“We’re delighted to fund this project to help us reach a greater understanding of its ability to help fight climate change.”
The project will be led by non-profit organisation North Sea Farmers (NSF) with support from a consortium of researchers and is expected to become operational by the end of this year
The funding comes from Amazon’s $100n million Right Now Climate Fund, which has so far committed more than $20m to biodiversity and nature projects across the EU in communities where Amazon operates.
In 2021, Amazon launched the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. The Accelerator will initially support 3,000 farmers in the Brazilian Amazonian state of Pará, restoring approximately 20,000 hectares—around the size of the City of Seattle—within three years, removing up to 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through to 2050.
Amazon is also part of a group of businesses that have joined the UK, US and Norwegian governments in setting up the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition, committing $1bn to combat the climate crisis through the conservation and preservation of tropical forests across the globe.
All of these initiatives form part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge, which the company co-founded with Global Optimism. Companies that join the Pledge have committed to reaching net-zero by 2040.