What is Donors For Climate?
The 2030 deadline to halve global emissions is fast approaching. If we miss this target, scientists believe we will not be able to keep the rise in temperature below 1.5˚C. We must also achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
As individual donors and philanthropists we already give to many good causes from medical research to the relief of poverty. Yet we recognise that the growing climate emergency is a serious risk to the pursuit of all our charitable aims.
Climate change is a health issue, an equality issue, an educational issue, an economic issue, a cultural issue, a scientific issue, a security issue and a local community issue, as well as an environmental issue.
The necessary changes to sharply reduce emissions and to adapt to climate change bring opportunities for new industries, good jobs, a cleaner environment, and improved wellbeing, but also involve significant costs.
The scale of the climate threat, and the scale of the solutions needed, means that this is an issue for all parts of civil society, and for all donors.
As individual donors and philanthropists, we can play a part in addressing the causes of climate change and supporting the adaptation to its effects, to ensure that everyone has access to opportunities arising from the transition to a low carbon economy, and to ensure that the costs are not disproportionately borne by those who are least able to pay.
This is our commitment:
Individual Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change
As an individual donor or philanthropist, I recognise the growing climate emergency, and the serious risk it presents to the pursuit of my and my family’s philanthropic aims. I believe that anyone with philanthropic resources, whatever their mission and field of expertise, can play a role in addressing this emergency. The Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement show a clear international consensus on the urgency of addressing climate change, through mitigation and adaptation actions. There is a special responsibility on individual donors, philanthropists and philanthropic organisations, which commit assets for the common good, to use their resources, independence and influence to rise to the challenge now.
The necessary changes to sharply reduce emissions and to adapt to climate change bring opportunities for new industries, good jobs, a cleaner environment, increased biodiversity, and improved wellbeing, but also involve significant costs. The philanthropy sector can help to bring about these changes, to ensure that everyone has equitable access to opportunities arising from the transition to a low carbon economy, and to ensure that the costs are not disproportionately borne by those who are least able to pay.
The scale of the climate emergency, and the scale of the solutions needed, means that this is a global challenge that affects us all. Climate change is a health issue, a gender equality issue, a racial and social justice issue, an educational issue, an economic issue, a cultural issue, a security issue, a human rights issue, and a local community issue. Many individuals and groups across the world are showing bold and effective leadership, including young people, women and Indigenous Peoples.
Countries, communities and organisations without a fair share of global financial resources are the least responsible for emissions, and yet are at greatest risk. The countries, communities and organisations with the largest share of global financial resources are responsible for the largest share of emissions, historically and today. The actions we can take, and the resources we have available, will vary from signatory to signatory, and from country to country. What we have in common is this public commitment to act.
I therefore commit to act as follows:
Education and learning
I will seek knowledge and education about the systemic causes, impacts and solutions of climate change, and the implications for my giving.
Commitment of resources
Recognising the urgency of the situation, I will commit resources to accelerate work that addresses the root causes of climate change or adaptation to its impacts.
Alignment with other activities
When making investment decisions or donations to other charitable causes, I will seek ways to encourage those organisations to consider how they can contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a net zero world.
I will seek to align the investment strategy for my assets with a rapid and just transition to a net zero economy.
I will take action to minimise my own climate impact, which may include for example travel, buildings, lifestyle and investment choices.
Influencing and advocacy
I will seek opportunities to work with others to encourage and support more ambitious action on climate change.
I will respond to a short annual survey on the actions I have taken against the six pillars listed above to share my progress and help to identify areas for improvement. I will continue to develop my practice, to collaborate, and to learn from others who are on the same journey.
- Hugh Raven – The Kinlochaline Trust
- Florence Miller
- Edward Mallinckrodt – The Mallinckrodt Foundation
- Anonymous 1
- Ms Gillian Khosla – The V&G Fund
- Anonymous 2
- Anonymous 3
- Ms Julie Christie
- Carolyn Kroll
The Individual Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change is one of a family of climate change commitments that includes the International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change, hosted by WINGS, which was itself based on the UK Funder Commitment on Climate Change, hosted by the Association of Charitable Foundations.
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