COP26: New community climate action fund – Together for Our Planet launched

A new £2.5million National Lottery-funded programme to support communities across the UK take action on climate change has opened for applications, ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow this November.

Building on interest and excitement for COP26, the ‘Together for Our Planet’ funding programme is being launched by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It is offering grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support local community projects, covering areas such as food, transport, energy, waste and consumption and the natural environment. It aims to create a legacy of ongoing climate action in hundreds of communities, beyond COP26, supporting the UK to reduce its emissions on its part to Net Zero by 2050.

The new programme opens as The National Lottery Community Fund launches a new online ‘Climate Hub’ – a dedicated space to find latest funding news, insights, learnings and stories on climate change and the environment.

Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “COP26 looks set to be a pivotal point in the global response to the climate emergency. Our new funding programme, Together for Our Planet, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, hopes to harness the interest and excitement around this event and support community organisations across the UK to take ongoing action on climate change.

“With this programme we are keen to reach those who are not sure how to take climate action or haven’t before, helping ensure that climate action moves further into the mainstream, and is accessible and relevant to all communities.”

Together for Our Planet is looking to fund proposals for community-led climate action projects, with applications needing to meet at least two of the following five criteria:

  1. It supports the development of longer-term climate action within communities (that is, taking place after the COP26).
  2. It encourages communities to plan for the climate emergency – to consider what climate action could mean to them and why it matters.
  3. It celebrates the importance of community-led climate action and encourages more people to get involved.
  4. It builds resilience in communities that are hardest hit by climate change.
  5. It provides jobs, skills or training opportunities for communities which support climate action.

In addition, Together for Our Planet will prioritise applications from people and communities hit hardest by climate change; people and communities who are starting to think about taking climate action; groups who have not received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund before or those who do not currently have a National Lottery grant; and smaller organisations with an annual turnover of under £100,000.

It will be open for applications until 5pm on 18 November 2021 and expects to make approximately 400 to 500 awards.

This exciting new funding programme is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Environment Strategy. Since 2016, they have awarded £397 million through more than 6,000 grants which involve environmental action, including action on waste and consumption, energy, transport, food and the natural environment.

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