East Devon District Council has been given £100,000 to help it tackle climate change. The money, from Defra and the Environment Agency is to be topped up with £10,000 from the council’s own budget for projects at Clyst Valley Regional Park.
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The council is setting up what they call an environmental impact bond and triple the number of trees in the park through planting and natural regeneration.
Projects to restore kelp forests, create new woodland, deliver natural flood risk management, and improve water quality are among 27 schemes nationally, including the East Devon one, to benefit from the new fund to drive private investment in nature and tackle climate change,
Revenues will be generated through the sale of carbon and biodiversity units, natural flood management benefits and through reduced water treatment costs. In developing these revenue streams, the Fund will help create a pipeline of projects for the private sector to invest in, and develop new funding models that can be scaled and replicated elsewhere.
Projects receiving funding focus on tackling climate change and restoring nature through schemes such as woodland and habitat creation, peatland restoration, sustainable drainage and river catchment management.
Cllr Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said: “The EDDC Climate Change Strategy 2020–2025 sets out how we will reduce our carbon emissions year on year and mitigate against the threat that climate will place on our communities. The strategy is being developed following research by Exeter University to establish our current carbon footprint. Our strategy will encompass all our 10 nature reserves and open spaces by increasing natural habitat and increase tree planting to sequester carbon and allow nature to recover, and this funding will help in our exciting plans for the Clyst Valley Regional Park.
Simon Bates, East Devon District Council’s green infrastructure project manager said: “We want to explore whether an environmental impact bond is the solution. This would blend cash from publicly funded grant schemes and private finance from woodland carbon and biodiversity credits. With major companies such as EON, EDF and many smaller environmental start-up businesses on our doorstep, we expect high demand for voluntary carbon credits in particular.”