7 December 2020

Networks collaborate to address climate challenges: launch of the climate philanthropy mapping.

By Marie-Stéphane Maradeix, Executive Director of the Fondation Nina et Daniel Carasso

We only have 10 short years left to implement the transition towards a global system which limits climate change to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Besides the environmental imbalances caused by rising temperatures, the impact on the most precarious populations will further aggravate social inequalities. However, the mobilization of the philanthropic sector remains surprisingly low, with no more than 3 to 5 percent of global donations being directly allocated for environmental causes.

In August 2019, a few weeks after the EFC Annual General Assembly, I had the opportunity to contribute to EFC’s blog edited for its 30th anniversary. The climate gap within the philanthropic sector struck me, hence I wrote on this blog a call to action to create a “philanthropic coalition for climate emergency and social justice”. This bold idea entailed inviting all foundations, regardless of their status and missions, to consider climate change as a key driver for their future operations, programs and investments, recognizing its devastating impact on the populations we serve as foundations.

Simultaneously, our colleagues at the Association of Charitable Foundations in the United Kingdom were about to launch the Funder Commitment on Climate Change. This pledge puts into action our shared thinking of mobilising the entire philanthropic community on this urgent issue. Therefore, we decided to join forces with Dafne at the European level, the Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations in France, and the Asociación Española de Fundaciones in Spain to promote this pledge and build the Philanthropy Coalition for Climate. Many foundations in these three “pilot countries” have already shown their interest and are engaging around the pledge.

The Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso is a Franco-Spanish family foundation not specifically dedicated to environmental issues. We touched on this subject through our “Sustainable Food Systems” programme, and we saw the rise of the Anthropocene subject among artists through our “Art in the Community” programme, but had no dedicated climate programmes. However, in 2015, we joined the Divest / Invest movement and we started an impact investment strategy. Little by little, the climate issue has infused our overall strategy. The call for a Coalition proves that any type of foundation is able to integrate climate challenges and to learn from each other, just like we did. To take this view further, the Carasso Foundation has decided to fund the Philanthropy Coalition for Climate, hoping that many other foundations will contribute to strengthen this movement.

As an initial step of the Coalition, Dafne has performed a mapping exercise in order to get acquainted with the networks and platforms already engaged in climate issues. As a matter of fact, many membership organisations such as Ariadne or EDGE Funders have put the climate issues linked with social justice high on their agenda, and other networks or dedicated organizations have a specific focus on climate change. As individual foundations, we need the expertise and the support of such platforms and networks: we will not be able to embark on this new journey alone and believe that no one organisation can or should tackle the greatest risk of our times on its own. Networks need to communicate their experiences, share their knowledge, raise one common voice, and coordinate climate funding in order to address together the climate challenges for social justice and for the future of our common home, the Earth.

Download the mapping exercise as a pdf.