The environmental sector in the United Kingdom continues to face a lack of available core resources that allow local organisations to develop projects and partnerships that deliver natural capital projects. Although there is evidence and several methodologies to account for benefits from natural capital projects, there is still a lack of long-term funding sources available to engage in long-term natural capital solutions.
The Community Forest Trust (CFT) is an environmental charity focused on community forests and the role of green areas in local communities. It submitted a proposal to the City Finance Lab for the creation of a natural capital-based investment fund capable of funding the core resources of the community forest sector in the United Kingdom, which includes municipal natural capital. CFT aims at tackling existing barriers in the environmental sector such as lack of core resources, uncertainty associated to long term finance and monitoring, as well as reporting and verification of natural capital projects. The proposed fund will have a long term horizon of 25 years, ensuring the sustainability of the resources required to continue to develop and deliver verifiable natural capital outcomes for municipalities. The fund aims to raise GBP 100 million towards the scaling of natural capital projects in the United Kingdom. The success of such a fund could also be scaled/replicated in other regions where investors are increasingly seeking climate-aligned investments.