In efforts to fight climate change, more trees will be planted in urban areas throughout England by 2021. A number of projects in the United Kingdom’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) are set to take off in the coming months, with each scheme taking a piece of the £10 million (US$12.9 million) pot.
Projects are focused on Manchester, Cornwall, London and North East England. England aims to plant at least 130,000 trees across the nation by 2021, and 30,000 hectares (74,132 acres) of trees a year across the United Kingdom by 2025.
After announcing the decision in the 2018 Autumn Budget, the UTCF was established to plant 20,000 large trees and 110,000 small trees around urban areas in England.
According to the UK’s Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, with support from the Nature4Climate (N4C) organization, the nation’s tree-planting efforts would be stepped up. “Our manifesto commits us to increase tree-planting to a rate of 30,000 hectares a year by 2025 across the UK.
Our £640-million [US$826,099,200] Nature4Climate fund will help us deliver a massive uplift in tree-planting as part of wider efforts to become a net zero carbon economy,” Villiers told the UK Parliament on February 6.
N4C is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other major organizations, including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to increase the investment and efforts of nature-based solutions. N4C was set up in support of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Net zero carbon economy
The announcement came after UK Shadow Environment Secretary Dr. Alan Whitehead claimed there is a shortage in reaching the government target of planting 11 million trees by 2050.
In 2019, the United Kingdom pledged to become the world’s first major economy to pass a net zero emissions law. This means that the United Kingdom is aiming to bring down greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.