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The climate crisis and philanthropic funding

A group of scientists has written to the top 100 wealthiest charitable bodies and individuals, asking for an "extraordinary increase" in their funding of environmental action against climate change.

Although people across the world are rapidly waking up to the urgency of the climate crisis, only 3% of philanthropic funding currently goes towards climate change-related issues. How can we ensure that philanthropists reflect this need for urgency by massively increasing their funding of this issue? 

The climate crisis is an enormous and complex issue – from our reliance on fossil fuels to cutting down forests – the scale of the challenge requires unprecedented change at all levels of society and a fundamentally different approach to collaboration between policy-makers, businesses, civil society and scientists. And at the same time we face a crisis of equal magnitude in relation to biodiversity loss, as articulated with such horrifying clarity in the recent report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Perhaps it is the sheer scale and complexity of this global environmental emergency that deters donations and charitable investments. Perhaps people prefer to fund causes where the impact is more tangible and, frankly, where the outlook is more optimistic.

But at Earthwatch we believe it is possible to drive solutions to these global challenges by bringing people, nature and science together. We understand that change often has to start small, but through collaboration and partnerships, we can mobilise and amplify these actions to inform and influence decision-making.

We work with employees of large companies, improving their awareness of climate change and wider sustainability issues and helping motivate them to embed change at an organisational level. We partner with teachers and students to help make sure that the next generation is inspired to take action to protect our planet. We carry out research – bringing together scientists, policy-makers and communities – to find solutions that address the impacts of climate change, particularly on our cities and for biodiversity. And we have ambitions to do more – our Strategy sets out the four key areas where we want to have impact over the next five years.

Willingness to address the climate crisis is growing, but without rapid investment on a huge scale, it will fail. The time to invest is now.

We welcome discussions with all potential partners and funders. Please get in touch to find out more about what we’re doing and how we could collaborate.

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