Amazon Pledges $4 Million in Effort to Reduce Climate Change Risks in Germany

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by | May 26, 2020

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(Credit: Pixabay)

Amazon today announced a $4.12 million commitment to The Nature Conservancy in an effort to reduce climate change risks and increase species biodiversity in three German cities. The initial project is in Berlin’s Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district. Learnings will be applied in two other German locations, and then shared across other European cities. With this, Amazon is recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis and its impacts on urban communities. The announcement follows The Climate Pledge, the company’s commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040.

Amazon’s commitment will fund The Nature Conservancy’s Urban Greening program, which uses nature-based solutions to help cities become more climate-change resilient. The program will collaborate with city officials and local community organizations to create and implement plans for:

  • Reducing flood risk by improving rainwater retention through tree planting, revitalizing urban wetlands, and adapting existing green spaces
  • Reducing extreme heat and pollution by leveraging unused public spaces to plant trees and improving urban water bodies
  • Increasing urban biodiversity by introducing pollinator-friendly species, climate resilient plants, and urban grasslands

The program starts in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district of Berlin and uses a science-based, municipality-wide, and stakeholder-based approach to urban greening to ensure that projects are complementing existing local efforts. Two additional German cities will be chosen, in which the initial learnings from Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf will be applied. The goal is to share a guide to urban greening with municipalities across Europe by the end of the five-year project.

In recent years, Berlin has experienced extreme weather, and people have been affected by intense heat waves and floods. For example, storm “Axel” in May 2019 released 70 liters of rainfall per square meter, leading to severe flooding.

The Urban Greening program is the first project outside the US for Amazon’s $100 million Right Now Climate Fund, which is part of Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge. Just last month, the tech giant announced a $10 million grant to conserve, restore, and support sustainable forestry, wildlife, and nature-based solutions across the Appalachian Mountains, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy.

Nature-based solutions refer to the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling challenges such as removing carbon from the atmosphere to slow climate change and helping maintain water and food security, biodiversity protection, human health, and disaster risk management. This funding will initially support projects in Pennsylvania and Vermont that will help family forest owners sequester carbon and support expansion across the Appalachians in a network of climate-resilient forests that scientists at The Nature Conservancy have identified as most able to thrive in the face of climate change.

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