6 February 2023

EU Climate Pact: Philea pledges to mobilise foundations on climate

On 31 January, Philea pledged to support the European Climate Pact by increasing the number of EU-based signatories to the #PhilanthropyForClimate initiative through the European Philanthropy Coalition for Climate. The European Climate Pact is a movement launched by the European Commission as part of the European Green Deal, with the intention to bridge the gap between EU environmental policy, local authorities and citizens.

Philea’s pledge was published right before the initiative’s two-year anniversary event, which brought together Climate Pact Ambassadors, experts and activists to discuss ways to build a more sustainable Europe for the future. Our commitment to the EU Climate Pact builds on our effort to mobilise the European philanthropic sector to address the climate crisis as an urgent, cross-cutting and societal change.

During the opening of the event, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans referred to the important role of grassroots initiatives to move policy forwards. In light of increasing inequalities, climate change, and the rising number of mental health disorders among young people, Climate Pact Ambassadors should feed optimism and pave the way for new solutions. As vulnerable groups are the most affected by climate change, the Commissioner highlighted the connection between climate and social justice, and noted the importance that COP28 will have in bridging the north-south divide. He acknowledged that people in positions of responsibility often do not take a long-term perspective, and that positive change is often the product of alliances between generations.

The stage was then opened up to the Climate Pact Ambassadors, ranging from eco-bloggers, economists and movement builders:

  • Alessio Terzi, an economist at DG ECFIN, referred to the cycle of blame where citizens, companies and governments keep pointing fingers at each other. He observed that citizens can break this negative loop by voting, and acting as conscious consumers.
  • Activist Anika Dafert referred to recent research showcasing the impact of grassroots movements on climate policies and invited participants to join the next global climate strike on 3 March 2023. 
  • Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director-General of DG CLIMA, highlighted the importance of adding a qualitative dimension to the non-financial reporting regulations through EU taxonomy for sustainable activities. She also stressed the role of policymakers in providing incentives to change citizens’ lifestyles through legislation.

Philea’s pledge builds on our ongoing engagement with the European Commission Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA). Philea contributed to the launch event of the European Climate Pact in 2020, where Marie-Stéphane Maradeix from the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation presented the initiative as an example of effective climate action. We also welcomed DG CLIMA to EuroPhilantopics 2022, where a conversation on the role of philanthropy as an enabler for joint actions on climate took place.

Philea will continue its dialogue with DG CLIMA to explore synergies between the European Commission and the #PhilanthropyforClimate movement and to unlock public-private philanthropy partnerships. The #PhilanthropyforClimate Commitments provide a framework for all foundations, regardless of their mission, status or geographic location to integrate a climate lens across their programmes, operations and investments. To successfully implement our pledge, we invite all philanthropic organisations across Europe to join this growing effort from our sector to tackle climate change.

Our members and the wider philanthropy ecosystem are also invited to join the European Climate Pact as pledgers or ambassadors.

More information can be found here.


Karalyn Gardner
Programme Manager – Climate Coalition
Hanna Hanses
Policy Manager