Amazon launches nature-based solutions 'accelerator' to support farmers and cut emissions
Amazon has today (2 September) launched a new agroforestry and restoration programme that will utilise nature-based solutions (NbS) while improving livelihoods for local farmers in the Brazilian Amazonian region.
Amazon has 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.
The Nature Conservancy will work together with the World Agroforestry Centre and civil society organisations to implement the Accelerator. It will help local farmers restore degraded cattle pastures back into forest and agroforestry land. It will also provide the farmers with a source of income through the sale of crops such as cocoa.
Amazon believes the Accelerator will enable farmers to utilise NbS to combat the climate crisis.
“Restoring the world’s forests is one of the most meaningful actions we can take right now to address climate change, and it will require innovative solutions to be successful,” Amazon’s vice president of worldwide sustainability Kara Hurst said.
“We are proud to launch the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to support solutions that prioritize high environmental integrity and strong community benefits. Amazon is looking forward to contributing our passion for innovation along with financial support to improve the livelihoods of local communities in Brazil, while helping to protect the planet for future generations.”
Amazon is also part of a group of businesses that have joined the UK, US and Norwegian governments in setting up a new public-private initiative committing $1bn to combat the climate crisis through the conservation and preservation of tropical forests across the globe.
The Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition has been set up by governments from the UK, Norway and the US with private sector support arriving from Amazon, Airbnb, Bayer, Boston Consulting Group, GSK, McKinsey, Nestlé, Salesforce, and Unilever.
The LEAF initiative aims to mobilise at least $1bn to support emissions reductions by ensuring tropical forests that act as carbon sinks are protected from deforestation while protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and members of local communities.
The Accelerator forms 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.
Amazon’s efforts to reach net-zero have seen the company purchase 10,000 electric delivery vehicles and investing in NbS across the value chain through the Right Now Climate Fund.
Earlier this year, Amazon issued a $1bn sustainability-focused bond, with funds raised set to assist the delivery of the firm's low-carbon and social sustainability targets. The bond’s proceeds will be used to finance initiatives across five focus areas: renewable energy, clean transport, sustainable buildings, affordable housing and socio-economic empowerment.
On renewable energy, Amazon has committed to reaching 100% renewable electricity across all direct operations globally by 2030 and claims it is likely to achieve this milestone in 2025.
COP26 Primer: Nature-based solutions
edie’s COP26 Primer Reports are about seizing the green opportunity. Produced in the run-up to the official talks, this mini-series of reports are based on the five key themes of COP26: Clean Energy, Clean Transport, Climate Resilience, Nature-Based Solutions, and Climate Finance. This report examines approaches to nature-based solutions.
This report, sponsored by the Woodland Trust, examines how crucial nature-based solutions are, not just in responding to the climate crisis, but also in addressing the ecological breakdown that is exacerbating across the globe. The report examines how new markets can be set up for nature-based solutions and how policy, finance and business innovation can incorporate these solutions to improve planetary wellbeing and capture emissions.
From the enablers and accelerators of nature-based solutions, to the political challenges and consequences of failing to reverse ecological breakdown, this report acts as a timely state-of-play for global efforts to improve biodiversity and how it can contribute to global efforts to deliver the aims of the Paris Agreement.