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Green Spaces Advisory Board - The importance of green spaces in achieving net zero targets

Ceri Theobald, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Growth
7 April 2022

Futures Housing Group is a proud member of the Green Spaces Advisory Board, sharing best practice on how to achieve net zero targets through the use of green spaces. For more information please click here

Nature underpins our prosperity and wellbeing. When our greenspaces thrive, we see better economic value and security, human development and equality, and enhanced biodiversity and climate regulation. We need nature to achieve the UK’s targets of net zero emissions by 2050 and to meet the Paris Agreement, which aims to prevent global temperatures increasing by 1.5 degrees celsius.

Currently the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, with high rates of urbanisation and deregulated planning processes making this worse. If we don’t work with nature to effectively adapt our built environments - our communities face increased risk of extreme weather events and poor health. We know that 30% of the emissions we need to reduce must come from restoring ecosystems so they can better absorb and store carbon. Despite natures’ role in mitigating climate change, nature based solutions currently receive just 3% of climate action funding!

Greenspaces contain large amounts of carbon and will play an important part in reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions.  There are two aspects to this -stopping emissions from poorly managed greenspaces, and starting carbon uptake by creating new, biodiverse and resilient greenspaces. Nature-based solutions are interventions that address the climate crisis by improving ecosystems, to help communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change. This might look like tree planting, growing wildflower meadows and installing green roofs which can reduce flood risk, regulate temperatures and improve air quality.

By investing in our greenspaces, these solutions can have significant benefits - to nature, climate and the people in our communities.

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