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This month saw the launch of many exciting projects, grant schemes and funding opportunities in our battle to fight climate change and create a greener, more sustainable planet. 

UK

  • The UK Budget was announced earlier this month with mixed reviews on the government’s funding towards its goal of net zero by 2050. Some of the promising moves include the creation of the National Infrastructure Bank, pledging to support up to £40 billion pounds in investment in green energy and projects to support the environment. Despite this, many were concerned that this will not be enough to reach net zero targets. In the year COP26 will take place in the UK, there is concern that more should be done to put the climate crisis at the centre of this year’s budget. Read more about this here.
  • A UN backed assessment, also used in 15 countries has been launched by Defra to tackle the country’s wildlife crime. Read more from Defra here.
  • Details for the government’s new Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme were launched this month, encouraging farmers to undertake land management practices that will support biodiversity and the environment while also ensuring sustainable farming practices.
  • The Environment Principles policy statement, which influences policy-making, and ensures climate and biodiversity ambitions are met, has been launched for 12 weeks of consultation. Defra is seeking feedback from stakeholders including environmental academics, professionals and interest groups on whether they have got the balance right. 
  • The government has published its Integrated Review which sets out the UK’s role in the world through to 2030. The document highlights that it’s number one international priority is to tackle climate change and slow the loss of biodiversity.
  • £150 million of funding has been pledged by the government to protect some of the world’s tropical rainforests in the Mobilising Finance for Forests Programme. This funding will support sustainable land-use projects, the direct protection of rainforests and its communities and support green jobs.

England

  • A new environmental watchdog for England has been launched on an interim basis ahead of its formal establishment as part of the Environmental Bill. This independent body will provide a review of the government’s progress to improving and protecting the environment.
  • Applications for the second round of funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund opened this month to support environmental charities in creating and maintaining jobs, while also restoring nature. 
  • Air Quality Grants were launched this month to help local authorities carry out projects to improve their local air quality. 

Scotland

  • New regulations saw Scotland give greater protection to its mountain hare population this month, making it illegal to kill, injure or take a mountain hare without specific license to do so. 
  • An new MPA was urgently designated near the Isle of Skye to protect a critically endangered nursery of flapper skates after divers reported seeing egg cases in the Inner Sound area of the island.

Wales

  • Wales is now one of a very small number of countries to bring their Net Zero emissions target into law with the Welsh government passing the legislation this month.

Europe

  • This month the European Court of Justice banned the use of limesticks as a method of hunting birds in France. Limesticks are essentially glue covered sticks used to capture thrushes and blackbirds, however the method has come under scrutiny as birds have been found in distress on the sticks with clumps of their feathers covered in glue.

International

  • A new framework that aims to better account for biodiversity and ecosystems in policy-decision making and economic planning was approved for use this month by the United Nations. This statistical framework allows countries to track changes in their ecosystems and the provision of services that go beyond the commonly used measure of GDP and instead takes account of the natural capital of specific ecosystems.

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