Saltmarshes: Carbon Capture and Storage

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 31 May 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to provide financial support for the (1) research, and (2) delivery, of saltmarsh restoration projects, to contribute to the national evidence base on carbon sequestration.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Through the UK Blue Carbon Evidence Partnership, Defra is working with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero alongside the other UK Administrations to address key research questions relating to blue carbon habitats, such as saltmarsh. In 2022, the UK Government launched its £140 million Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment programme, a flagship three-year R&D programme, spanning England’s land, coast and sea. The programme includes mapping of blue carbon stock and sequestration rates in important coastal environments such as saltmarsh habitats, alongside wider ecosystem services which provide societal, ecological and economic benefit.

The Environment Agency’s (EA) Restoring Meadow, Marsh and Reef (ReMeMaRe) initiative is working to restore our estuarine and coastal habitats to benefit people and nature. The EA’s restoration handbooks are a key tool to support restoration of coastal blue carbon habitats in the UK and beyond.

The Government is also supporting eight blue nature finance projects, including blue carbon, with around £750,000 of grants through the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund. This funding is being used to develop a pipeline of projects that can demonstrate viable private-sector investment models, ultimately working to restore important blue habitats such as saltmarsh. In addition, our £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund has supported a range of nature recovery projects across England, five of which have included saltmarsh restoration.

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