Amazon: funding climate resilience in Germany

By Georgia Wilson
Amazon announces its funding of the urban greening program to increase climate resilience in Germany...

n partnership with municipalities and supporting The Nature Conservancy, Amazon is helping Germany develop nature based solutions to enhance biodiversity and climate adaptation as part of the urban greening program.

The urban greening program will develop models for green urban designs for three locations in Germany, as well as enabling the capability to share best practices with cities across Europe, and is the first project outside of the US that is part of Amazon’s US$100mn ‘Right Now Climate Fund’, supporting its pledge to be net zero carbon by 2040.

As part of its support in Germany, the organisation has announced its commitment of US$4.17mn to The Nature Conservancy. The funding will help to reduce climate change risks and increase species biodiversity in three German cities, with the initial project starting in Berlin’s Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district. 

“In addition to all our efforts in the fight against COVID-19, we must also maintain our efforts to protect the planet. The Nature Conservancy and its municipal partners will apply a science-based approach to developing a model that can be applied more broadly across German and European cities. As the program progresses, we will measure the impacts to ensure that the actions result in tangible benefits to urban residents, such as more greened spaces, greater counts of wild bees and other pollinators, more cubic liters of storm water safely managed, and lower average surface temperatures,” commented Ralf Kleber, Vice President and Country Manager for Amazon Germany.

Following the initial project the best practices learnt will be applied to the two other locations in Germany, and then shared with others in Europe by the end of the five year project.

With its commitment Amazon will fund The Nature Conservancy’s Urban Greening program, which helps cities become more climate change resilient by harnessing nature based solutions. 

In collaboration with city official and local community organisations, the program will establish and implement plans for:

Reducing flood risk 

Reducing extreme heat and pollution 

Increasing urban biodiversity

Germany’s current climate

In a company statement Amazon detailed that “in recent years, Berlin has experienced extreme weather, and people have been affected by intense heat waves and floods.”

Storm ‘Axel’ is an example of this, in May 2019 the storm released 70 liters of rainfall per square meter, resulting in severe flooding for the city. “We believe that cities play an important role to lead on climate action at the local level in the coming decades, in support of Germany’s strong national commitment of climate neutrality by 2050,” commented Dr. Kerstin Pfliegner, Germany Director of The Nature Conservancy.

“The people of Berlin are experiencing climate change first-hand – with urban floods and extreme heat events in the past years,” added Dr. Ulrich Heink, Director of the Department of Nature Conservation, Berlin-Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district. “The nature-based climate solutions in this urban greening program will help to reduce these impacts while at the same time increase biodiversity and citizen well-being.” Dr. Kerstin Pfliegner added: “Our research shows that nature can offer cost-effective options for resilience in this changing environment.”

“Cities like Berlin are on the front line in the fight against climate change”, said Oliver Schruoffenegger, City Councilor, Berlin Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. “I welcome the commitment of The Nature Conservancy and Amazon to work together with the city of Berlin in our efforts to become greener. I look forward to working with both partners and local communities to define the best programs for our district.”


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