Amazon has announced its first Right Now Climate Fund projects in the UK, providing funding for The Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund and the London Wildlife Trust and Mayor of London’s ‘Rewild London Fund’. Amazon’s £2.8 million commitment to these projects will help plant over 450,000 trees across six UK local authorities and support more than 20 critical rewilding projects in the capital.
These are the first projects in the UK receiving support through Amazon’s $100 million Right Now Climate Fund. With €20 million committed to projects across the UK and Europe, the fund has been set up to conserve, restore and improve forests, wetlands and grasslands, protecting wildlife habitats, biodiversity and quality of life for communities.
We are making significant contributions to nature-based solutions to help restore and preserve the natural world.
Through the fund, Amazon supports projects that drive tangible environmental and social benefits such as job creation and access to nature. So far, Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund has invested in a reforestation programme in Italy, Parco Italia; an urban greening programme in Germany; a forest conservation and restoration project in the US Appalachian Mountains; and the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
“Both The Woodland Trust and London Wildlife Trust have a history of science-based and community-focused work that has a meaningful and lasting impact on biodiversity in the UK,” said Zak Watts, Director of Europe Sustainability, Amazon.
“Alongside co-founding the Climate Pledge in 2019 and making a commitment to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040, we are making significant contributions to nature-based solutions to help restore and preserve the natural world. These first UK commitments from our Right Now Climate Fund aim to help accelerate nature’s recovery in communities across the country and we are eager to see the positive results they bring.”
The Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. Amazon’s £2.1 million commitment will provide the funding to launch phase two of The Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund. The fund will award grants to six local authorities across the country, planting 450,000 trees, creating green spaces in local communities most impacted by pollution and with least access to nature, and creating 11 new jobs in Forestry, Arboriculture and Community Engagement. A total of 500 volunteers will be engaged across the project, contributing to at least 25,000 volunteer hours, and a combined population of 4.5 million people could benefit from this project.
Participating local authorities include Doncaster Council which has launched a tree challenge project with the aim of increasing tree cover in the borough from 12.6 per cent to 17 per cent; and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in Northern Ireland is looking to plant 80,000 trees, while engaging 77 schools across the region and creating a community tree nursery. Other beneficiaries of the fund include Scotland’s International Environment Centre (University of Stirling), West of England, West Midlands Combined Authority and Wrexham County Borough Council in Wales.
“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, said Dr Darren Moorcroft, the Woodland Trust’s Chief Executive.
“A key part of this will be planting more trees and protecting what we have for the many benefits they bring – they help purify our air, cool our towns and cities, make land more resilient to combating flooding and enhancing well-being. 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.”
The London Wildlife Trust
The London Wildlife Trust is a charity committed to improving nature by creating more green spaces across London. Launched in 2021 by the Mayor of London, the Rewild London Fund has already granted £600,000 to projects including the reintroduction of grazing cattle in Enfield; water voles in Kingston’s Hogsmill River; the creation of new chalk grassland habitats for butterflies in Sutton; and working with the Zoological Society of London to help London’s hedgehogs thrive.
The new £750,000 commitment from Amazon will enable authorities – and other owners and managers of London’s local wildlife sites – to plan, deliver and manage programmes which seek to address wildlife decline.
“We are delighted to launch, in partnership with the Mayor of London, the second round of the Rewild London Fund, which has been made possible by £750,000 investment from Amazon’s Right Now Climate Fund”, said Gordon Scorer, Chief Executive of London Wildlife Trust. “Nature-based solutions must lie at the heart of how we tackle the effects of climate change in our city, and this is a real opportunity to bring about lasting, positive change for nature and people in London.”
London’s woodlands, wetlands, grasslands and other protected wildlife sites are vitally important to the health and wellbeing of local communities. These spaces also provide protection from floods and heatwaves, and support populations of wild fauna, flora and fungi. The fund will support the restoration of key habitats that help important species flourish, including butterflies, water voles, and birds like tawny owls, swifts and skylarks. The fund will also lay the foundation for possible future reintroductions of species that once called London their home.
“These projects will play a significant role in reintroducing Londoners to the beauty and excitement of nature and will help boost the capital as a haven for wildlife, said Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for the Environment. “We want to build a better and greener London for everyone, and the Rewild London Fund is helping us to make that a reality.”
Amazon is the co-founder of and the first signatory to The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. With more than 375 signatories, including more than 100 from the UK alone, the Pledge signatories are working together on initiatives to preserve the natural world and invest in decarbonising technologies. Amazon is also a key participant in the LEAF Coalition, a public-private global initiative that has raised more than $1 billion to protect the world’s tropical rainforests.
The company also recently announced the launch of its first UK micromobility hub in London for zero-emission last mile deliveries – five million of which will be made in the capital every year by its new electric vehicles, e-cargo bikes and walkers – and unveiled five new fully electric Heavy Goods Vehicles. Plans to roll out large-scale solar panel installations across a number of UK sites were also announced – doubling the number of on-site energy projects in the UK by 2024.
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