The new fund, from the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will build a network of people and communities, well-placed to drive change within, between and beyond their community.
The funder has said that types of activities will differ from place to place, but will have one thing in common: the ability to deliver high impact community-led climate action. This includes in areas such as sustainable energy, sustainable transport, consumption, food and protecting and regenerating spaces and habitats.
The new fund is being launched as the level of concern over climate change continues to rise, with 80% of the public saying they are very or fairly concerned about climate change.
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Everyone can play their part in addressing climate change. The impact will be all the greater if we come together within and across communities. This is why, thanks to National Lottery players, we are launching the Climate Action Fund to create grassroots momentum built on learning and sharing within, between and beyond communities – in order to achieve meaningful and sustained climate action.”
At the launch event at The Global Generation Skip garden, a sustainable urban garden in London, environmental organisations, charities, and community groups heard from Ummi Hoque, an 18 year old student who received National Lottery funding through Our Bright Future to drive climate action in her local community, and who recently joined the hundreds of thousands of young people around the world striking together for climate action.
Ummi said: “Young people must be at the forefront of the drive to resolve the climate emergency – it’s our planet and our future and, as a youth forum member at Our Bright Future, I will continue to fight for it. While we need business, Government and policy-makers to respond effectively to the crisis, it’s important that local communities are encouraged to play their role. I’m excited to see how communities can work together and learn from each other, as we find ways to address the crisis together.”
The National Lottery Community Fund has already invested millions in environmental projects across the UK, large and small. A range of these projects were featured at the launch event, including Twipes, Fantastic Home and The Toy Project.
Twipes - the world's first truly flushable eco-friendly toilet wipe that disperses in water in three hours – was developed by Ellenor McIntosh and Alborz Bozorgi who received National Lottery funding through Our Bright Future to take their bio-degradable wipes digital. The young environmental leadership grant helped Elle and Al develop digital sensors on hand wipes in buildings and hotels that send alerts when they are running low in order to save costs and waste – further mitigating the impact on the climate and reducing marine pollution.
The National Lottery Community Fund is also exploring ways to support the wider sector and its grantees to help them mitigate their impact on the climate, for example via its Climate Action Top-up scheme – which will soon be piloted in Wales.