NatWest Group and WWF Collaborate to Support UK Farmers in Climate and Nature Goals

NatWest Group and WWF Collaborate to Support UK Farmers in Climate and Nature Goals

(IN BRIEF) NatWest Group and WWF have announced a strategic partnership to drive a sustainable transition in the UK food and agricultural sector. They aim to bring together stakeholders to mobilize financing, support farmers in achieving climate and nature goals, and advocate for agricultural payment reforms. The collaboration follows a report by NatWest Group that highlights the willingness of farmers to embrace sustainability but their need for support. The partnership envisions a net-zero world with thriving ecosystems and fairer market opportunities for growers. The announcement comes after industry roundtables held in Edinburgh and London, bringing together key players in the agricultural sector.

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 27-Jun-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — National Westminster Bank (NatWest), the largest bank for UK businesses, and WWF, the world’s leading independent conservation organization, have announced a strategic partnership aimed at facilitating a sustainable transition in the UK food and agricultural sector.

The collaboration between NatWest Group and WWF will focus on bringing together key stakeholders across the food and farming industry in the UK to mobilize and scale private and public financing. The objective is to support farmers in achieving climate and nature goals while advocating for government reforms in agricultural payments. Additionally, the strategic partners will provide guidance, advice, and tools to assist in the implementation of transition plans within the food and agriculture sectors.

With farmland covering 70% of the UK* and agriculture accounting for 11% of the country’s climate emissions, with projections indicating a further increase**, the sector plays a crucial role in addressing the climate and nature crises. Immediate funding, support, and guidance are needed to enable the adoption of climate and nature-friendly practices, ensuring the sector’s economic and environmental resilience for the future.

This strategic partnership follows a recent report published by NatWest Group in May, revealing that 82% of farmers are willing to embrace climate and nature challenges and transition their operations. However, they require support to do so. As part of its commitment, NatWest Group has pledged to provide nearly £7 billion in lending to the UK agriculture sector.

WWF’s vision for UK farming, outlined in its Land of Plenty report, encompasses a net-zero world teeming with biodiversity. The vision includes re-establishing the connection between food production and consumption, providing fairer market opportunities for growers and producers, fostering thriving ecosystems within and beyond farmland, and promoting high-quality food sourced from circular and regenerative systems.

*Agricultural land use UK 

**Agri-climate report 2022 

Alison Rose DBE, Chief Executive, NatWest Group said:

“The UK Agriculture sector is at a turning point – facing higher costs, declining domestic production and supply chain issues, whilst also trying to reduce their climate emissions.

The industry needs collective action for a sustainable and secure future. So we’re delighted to be partnering with WWF to mobilise public and private investment into climate and nature friendly farming, ensuring that our farmers are properly supported throughout.

NatWest has committed nearly £7billion of total funding to Agriculture to date, and we will continue standing side by side with farmers to give them the support they need to invest in their transition.”

Tanya Steele CBE, CEO, WWF said:

“With UK nature in freefall, there is no true food security without tackling climate change and protecting and restoring the natural world which underpins our farming system. Our shared vision is for a flourishing farming sector that is equipped to achieve a net-zero future bursting with life, where growers and producers get a fairer share of the market and are supported with sustainable, long-term financing.

“Farmers are eager to embrace a new world of lower emissions and nature restoration, not least because it is in the long-term interests of their sector. But they need support and certainty to make it a reality. WWF and NatWest Group understand that productivity and sustainability can go hand in hand, and that more and more customers and consumers expect it.”

The partnership announcement follows an industry roundtable co-hosted by NatWest Group and WWF at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, one of the UK’s largest gatherings celebrating farming, food, and rural life. The roundtable brought together major businesses in the Scottish agricultural sector, policymakers, and industry groups. A similar workshop was held in London in April.

About NatWest Group

At NatWest Group (NWG) we are guided by our purpose. To demonstrate our ambition to help address climate challenge, NWG became the first UK bank to have its sectoral targets for 2030 (including for agriculture) validated by the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi). NWG is a leading lender to UK business, with c. 40,000 agriculture customers that represent about 30% of borrowers in the UK agriculture sector. Agriculture is a significant sector of our financed emissions – and thus a priority if we are to achieve our science-based targets.***

***NatWest Group 2022 Annual Report and Accounts

About WWF  

WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is a global environmental charity, and we’re bringing our world back to life. With nature in freefall, we’re urgently tackling the underlying causes that are driving the decline – especially the food system and climate change. And we’re finding solutions so future generations have a world with thriving habitats and wildlife. It’s a huge challenge, but there is hope. We’re working globally with governments, companies, communities and others who have the will to act and the power to transform our world. We’re using our ground-breaking scientific research, our global influence, and the backing of our many supporters to make sure the natural world’s vital signs are recovering by 2030.

WWF. Bringing our world back to life.

Find out more about our work, past and present at

For more information or to request interviews please contact Mike Johnston at NatWest press office, 07584 403860,


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The £7bn lending package will be deployed through a variety of routes, including Green Loans, conventional loans, asset finance and increased overdrafts.

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SOURCE: NatWest Group



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