‘Right Now Climate Fund’: Amazon pledges £2.8m for UK nature projects

Image: Amazon / FTI Consulting

The e-commerce giant first launched the €100m fund in 2019 with the intention of supporting “immediate actions” that have co-benefits for climate and nature. These actions include the conservation, restoration and creation of forests, green spaces, wetlands and peatlands.

Subsequently, in the latter half of 2021, Amazon confirmed that one-fifth of the fund would be allocated in Europe. Today (3 October), it has confirmed plans for the first UK-based projects it will support through the Fund, with a total of £2.85m of backing.

In Greater London, Amazon will provide £750,000 to the London Wildlife Trust’s ‘Rewild London’ fund. Rewilding involves reinstating natural processes to landscapes and habitats that have deteriorated, providing a home for flora and fauna.

The funding will support 20 rewilding projects in collaboration with owners and managers of nature sites. The London Wildlife Trust was launched in 2021 by the office of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and has provided a total of £600,000 to projects to date.

Amazon has additionally committed £2.1m to the Woodland Trust’s ‘Emergency Tree Fund’. The Fund was created to award grants to local authorities whose residents do not have sufficient access to nature, so that they could create or expand forests and green spaces. With Amazon’s financial support, grants will be provided to six local authorities. These grants should collectively enable the planting of 450,000 trees and the creation of 11 new, permanent jobs.

Grants will be provided to Doncaster Council, Scotland’s International Environment Centre, the West of England’s ‘Enduring Roots and New Shoots’ project, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Wrexham County Borough Council.

The Woodland Trust’s chief executive Dr Darren Moorcroft said: “With the droughts this year, it has shown us it has never been more important to look at how we adapt to the changing climate in this country.”

At a meeting of the National Drought Group last month, documents were circulated stating that large parts of England are likely to remain in an official drought into 2023. While rainfall has met or exceeded average levels in September in most regions, after a hot and dry summer, conditions underground remain very dry across the south west and south east.

Dr Moorcroft added: “Whilst we can plant and protect trees on our land, we cannot tackle this alone and it needs to be done in a strategic way across large areas. This funding, thanks to generous support from Amazon, gets to the heart of the matter by targeting councils. With so many financial strains it can be tough for them to take action in this area. The Emergency Tree Fund will give them the tools to create and plan for more woodland, combining our expertise in unlocking land for woodland creation and management – making a difference to people’s lives on a large scale.”

Amazon has stated that it chose the Woodland Trust and the London Wildlife Trust to support as they both “have a history of science-based and community-focused work that has a meaningful and lasting impact on biodiversity”.

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