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16th November 2020

New jobs will be created and retained under new plans to kickstart a ‘green economic recovery’, the government announced yesterday (Sunday 15 November).

Following the initial success of the first round, £40 million additional investment into the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund will go towards creating and retaining thousands of jobs, with funding being awarded to environmental charities and partners across England to restore the natural environment and help make progress on the UK’s ongoing work to address the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, as part of our green recovery from Covid-19.

After a competitive process, a wide range of projects, to be announced shortly, will receive funding to ‘enhance’ the UK’s natural environment and create and ‘support thousands of jobs’, government says.

The government has also announced that more of England’s iconic landscapes will be turned into National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty, in order to ‘increase access to nature for communities and better protect the country’s rich wildlife and biodiversity’.

The commitments come ahead of the publication of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan next week, which will set out his steps for a green industrial revolution to boost green jobs whilst invigorating plans to achieve net zero by 2050.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As we build back greener we’re taking new steps to expand and enhance our landscapes – creating and retaining thousands of green jobs in the process which will be crucial to my Ten Point Plan for delivering a green recovery.

As we build back greener we’re taking new steps to expand and enhance our landscapes – creating and retaining thousands of green jobs in the process which will be crucial to my Ten Point Plan for delivering a green recovery

“Britain’s iconic landscapes are part of the fabric of our national identity – sustaining our communities, driving local economies and inspiring people across the ages.

“That’s why with the natural world under threat, it’s more important than ever that we act now to enhance our natural environment and protect our precious wildlife and biodiversity.”

These measures mark the next steps in delivering on the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan commitments and its pledge to protect 30% of the UK’s land by 2030.

Combined, the new plans to safeguard the natural environment will extend protections of land by 150,000ha in England towards the government’s goal of protecting and enhancing an additional area of over 400,000ha.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “As we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic, we are committed to shaping a cleaner and more resilient society to protect and restore our natural environment and diverse ecosystems.

“Today’s announcement illustrates how we are leading the world in protecting the natural environment and combating climate change.

“By starting the process for designating more of our beautiful and iconic landscapes as National Parks and AONBs, and through the new Landscape Recovery projects, we will help expand and protect precious wildlife habitats and, vitally, increase people’s access to our treasured landscapes.”