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Fund to drive private sector investment in nature opens for second round

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Organisations searching for investment for nature tasks to sort out local weather change, create and restore habitats, or enhance water high quality are being urged to apply for the second and ultimate round of the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund.

The fund of up to £10 million will present grants of up to £100,000 to environmental teams, native authorities, companies and different organisations to assist them develop nature tasks in England to some extent the place they’ll appeal to private investment.

Funding shall be invested in a broad vary of tasks that can ship environmental advantages whereas additionally demonstrating a variety of revolutionary approaches to producing revenues from the big selection of advantages that nature offers.

Projects shall be designed to present a return on investment by capturing the worth of the carbon, water high quality, biodiversity and different advantages offered by pure belongings resembling woodlands, peatlands, catchments and landscapes.

This will create a pipeline of tasks for the private sector to make investments in, demonstrating the UK’s management and motion in scaling up finance for nature and local weather throughout COP26. The opening of the appliance window comes after the Chancellor set out the UK’s plans to develop into the world’s first internet zero aligned monetary centre, welcoming commitments from private firms masking $130 trillion of monetary belongings that can create an enormous pool of money that might fund our internet zero transition.

Environment Minister Lord Benyon mentioned:

As nations come collectively at COP26 to make vital commitments to defend and improve our pure surroundings, it is important that we drive better ranges of private sector investment, alongside continued public sector funding, if we’re to efficiently sort out the local weather and biodiversity crises.

The fund has already offered help to 29 tasks working to create new woodlands and wetlands and restore peatlands, with the second round of funding offering extra alternatives for organisations to get help to appeal to private sector investment in their tasks.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and interim Chair of the Green Finance Institute, mentioned:

The local weather and nature emergencies are entwined, defending and enhancing the home pure surroundings will assist defend investments from local weather disruption and ship regular long-term returns.

The Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund is already exhibiting how completely different income fashions stimulate investment. We want main buyers to recreate these at tempo and on a a lot bigger scale. COP26 has targeted consideration on making ready for local weather shocks utilizing nature-based options. Alongside public sector investment, the private sector should be inspired and supported to discover the chance in defending nature and managing local weather change.

Among the 29 schemes benefitting from the primary round of funding are tasks to restore kelp forests, create new woodland, ship pure flood danger administration, and enhance water high quality. They embrace:

  • Crystal Clear Clyst Bond, an East Devon District Council scheme searching for to convert farmland to woodland in an space experiencing a progress in growth, through an Environmental Impact Bond;
  • Swinton Estate in North Yorkshire, working to develop a brand new enterprise mannequin for multi-functional forestry to realise wider advantages from carbon sequestration, biodiversity credit, recreation, and water high quality
  • Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s scheme to elevate investment to restore peatland by way of the Greater Manchester Environment Fund by modelling revenues from the sale of carbon and biodiversity credit by way of woodland creation and growing biodiversity; and
  • Surrey Wildlife Trust’s scheme to set up a pure capital investment firm to mannequin biodiversity internet achieve at scale in help of growth progress in the southern England.

The Fund has been designed by Defra and the Environment Agency, working with HMT, Natural England and Access – Foundation for Social Investment.

Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, mentioned:

It is important that we discover methods to appeal to extra investment into nature restoration. This is why I’m so happy that the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund has opened its doorways to bids once more. This is an important space of innovation and there have been some wonderful bids in the primary round, exhibiting the potential to achieve additional momentum behind ecological restoration.

The growth of investment-ready tasks shall be an important a part of how we ship the bold Nature Recovery Network that’s on the coronary heart of Natural England and the federal government’s plans. Interest in becoming a member of and rising these new markets is growing on a regular basis and I’m proud that Natural England is enjoying an vital function by way of offering technical experience.

The Green Finance Institute (GFI) has supported Defra and the Environment Agency all through the Fund’s first round and can proceed to promote the data gained throughout the finance sector, in partnership with Ecosystems Knowledge Network and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, Chief Executive, Green Finance Institute, mentioned:

As highlighted in our current report, England alone faces a £21 to £53 billion finance hole over the following decade in reaching key nature targets. The Fund performs an vital function in filling this hole by way of its growth of a possible pipeline to appeal to private investment into nature, and thru the shared studying offered by the Fund’s Community of Practice.

We look ahead to seeing the revolutionary tasks inside this second round of funding.

The fund – which shall be open for functions till 3 February – will assist ship on commitments in the federal government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and Green Finance Strategy, in addition to supporting the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the Net Zero Strategy.

Further data

• The Environment Agency runs a NEIRF SharePoint web site the place extra help shall be introduced in the course of the utility window. Access might be offered by emailing NEIRF@environment-agency.gov.uk.