COP26: Philanthropists offered help to commit to climate change

An Individual Philanthropy Commitment is being launched by charity sector organisations to support philanthropists use their assets for environmental causes and to tackle climate change.

The commitment has been launched to coincide with COP26 by the Beacon Collaborative, which encourages private assets to be used for public good, and the Environment Funders Network, a network of UK based foundations and funders.

It is also backed by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), which hosts the UK Funder Commitment on Climate Change initiative to encourage environmental action among funders.

They aim to attract at least 200 signatories among philanthropists by the time of the next COP summit in November 2022.

The commitment has seven key elements for philanthropists to focus on around climate change:

1. Education and learning
2. Commitment of resources
3. Alignment with other activities
4. Investment Strategy
5. Lifestyle Choices
6. Influencing and advocacy
7. Transparency on progress

“The launch of the Individual Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change is very welcome and another sign of how philanthropy – whether individual or institutional – is recognising the threat that climate change poses to the causes it supports," said ACF director of external affairs Richard Hebditch.

“Together with commitments from foundations, philanthropy in the UK can play a role alongside government and private sectors in supporting the transition to a net-zero carbon world as well as helping communities adapt to the changes that are needed.”

Jane Cabutti, growing philanthropy director at the Environment Funders Network, added: “Donors – and the charities they support – are already having a transformative effect in reducing emissions and helping adaptation to climate change, but it will take a rapid scaling of collective action to create the step-change we need to see.

“Climate change will affect every cause that donors care about, and every donor can have an impact in tackling climate change, through many aspects of their lives in addition to their philanthropy.

“The Individual Philanthropy Commitment provides a roadmap for action, as well as the support of a like-minded community."

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