Press release

Coalition of 11 leading funders release Call to Action to accelerate action on climate adaptation at COP28 and beyond

Diverse group of philanthropic organizations commits to develop joint strategic plan, joins the global chorus of voices calling for increased funding and action on climate adaptation

DUBAI — December 2, 2023 — Today, a group of 11 leading philanthropic funders signed a call to action that commits to accelerated progress and action on climate adaptation and resilience, seeking to bolster government and private sector action at and after COP28. Current signatories include the African Climate Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, Arab Foundations Forum, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Climate Emergency Collaboration Group, ClimateWorks Foundation, Humanity United, Open Society Foundations, Quadrature Climate Foundation, Rumah Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation. 

In addition to scaling up climate mitigation, philanthropy must also accelerate work to help countries and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change from unprecedented weather patterns and global warming above 1.5º C that threatens the survival of communities around the world. With 3.6 billion people in developing countries already highly vulnerable to climate change’s worst effects, and climate-related risks continuing to grow, philanthropy needs a step change to increase adaptation and resilience. 

The adaptation finance gap is significant, with low-income countries requiring at least US$215 billion per year this decade while current international public finance flows cover only 10% of these adaptation costs. Philanthropy can act as a critical catalyst to help unlock greater public and private sector funding and investment, champion climate innovation at local and government levels, and drive systems change at the scale needed to support a climate-resilient world. 

The diverse group of philanthropic organizations commits to increasing shared learning and developing coordinated strategies to reduce climate vulnerability. They will:

  1. Work together to increase learning, coordination, investment, and overall impact to advance climate change adaptation and build climate resilience. 
  2. Develop coordinated strategies to scale and improve philanthropic action, guided by the priorities of those most impacted and other relevant interest groups.
  3. Challenge current support delivery norms and assumptions by engaging in new approaches to achieve transformational change that address underlying vulnerabilities.  
  4. Engage closely with others outside of philanthropy, including governments, civil society, financial and international institutions, and corporations to create effective alliances that catalyze scalable impact. 
  5. Transparently and regularly share progress.

The coalition plans to announce funding commitments for specific adaptation initiatives by COP30, in line with the adaptation and resilience investments currently supported by the signatories.

“The African Climate Foundation believes that climate resilience paves the way for economic resilience. Adopting a transformative approach to climate adaptation, the ACF focuses not only on avoiding loss but also on unlocking economic and developmental potential through enhanced climate resilience. Effective structuring of philanthropic funds, private investments, grants and concessional loans is essential to support this climate-economic resilience nexus,” said Saliem Fakir, Executive Director at the African Climate Foundation. 

“For over five decades, the Aga Khan Foundation has worked with communities in Asia and Africa to improve their quality of life, promote pluralism, and enhance self-reliance. The people we serve now find themselves among the first and worst affected. AKF has already helped millions adapt their lives and livelihoods to the effects they already feel from global warming; we will continue to stand with them as the climate crisis intensifies in the decades to come. Our commitment to them is steadfast,” said Dr. Matt Reed, Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation (UK) and AKF’s Global Director of Institutional Partnerships.

“The MENA region is warming nearly twice as fast as the rest of the world, and our communities are already suffering through some of the worst impacts of climate change. The climate crisis affects everything from health to education, economic development to social justice, and we can no longer ignore the urgent need for unified climate action. At the Arab Foundations Forum, we are committed to helping our member organizations and wider network find solutions through collaboration, education, and advocacy. We believe the philanthropy sector has a crucial role to play in mitigating the climate challenges we face today and in supporting communities as they adapt to rising temperatures. And the time to act is now,” said Naila Farouky, Chief Executive Officer of the Arab Foundations Forum.

“The realities of the earth’s changing climate demand more from all sectors of society, including philanthropy. Ambitious climate action requires a holistic approach, one that not only stops emissions to limit future warming but also builds resilience and reduces the impacts already faced by those at the frontlines of the climate crisis today. ClimateWorks Foundation is committed to advancing people-centered solutions and supporting philanthropies in their collaborative efforts to deliver better outcomes for people, climate and nature around the world,” said Helen Mountford, CEO and President of ClimateWorks Foundation.

 

“The climate crisis is not a standalone problem. All of us in the field of philanthropy and human rights must consider how we account for it in our work, since it affects all aspects of society. And those least responsible for the crisis — such as our partners in the Global South — are often the ones to suffer the most,” said Srik Gopal, Managing Partner at Humanity United. 

 

“Over the past two years, the Open Society Foundations has invested in a range of initiatives and innovative tools to mobilise finance to build resilience for disproportionately impacted climate-vulnerable countries and communities. Supporting such critical efforts — a priority for the most vulnerable — is a matter of social and economic justice. We are glad to be joined in this endeavor by many other philanthropic organizations to scale and speed up efforts. We are confident that this will trigger further investment from donor countries and the private sector,” said Yamide Dagnet, Director for Climate Justice at Open Society Foundations. 

 

“As climate impacts escalate, the poorest and most vulnerable countries and communities who are least responsible for the causes of climate change are suffering the most. Yet support for these communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change is too little, too late. Recognizing this, Quadrature Climate Foundation is glad to be partnering with others in our commitment to scale support for adaptation, focusing on getting that support to the most vulnerable groups in climate vulnerable regions,” said Jess Ayers, CEO of Quadrature Climate Foundation.

 

“Climate change is already upon us. Regardless of whether we’re a global funder or small family foundation like us, it’s critical that philanthropies of all sizes join forces to accelerate our collective response. Being in Southeast Asia, we witness the urgent need for climate adaptation with hundreds of millions of lives at risk along our region’s coasts. It’s intimidating, but philanthropic capital has a meaningful role to play and this crisis calls for urgent, collaborative efforts to safeguard communities and our shared future,” said Kathlyn Tan, Director at Rumah Foundation.

 

“The most vulnerable are already feeling the effects of a warming planet and are the least able to weather the resulting floods, fires, heat, and disease; committed to the wellbeing of humanity, our philanthropic dollars can hopefully spur others to act,” said Dr. Rajiv Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.

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About the African Climate Foundation

The African Climate Foundation (ACF), established in 2020, is the first African-led strategic grant-maker working at the nexus of climate change and development.

Media contact: Kelly Easton, kelly@africanclimatefoundation.org  

About the Aga Khan Foundation

The Aga Khan Foundation is a leading global development organisation working to tackle the root causes of poverty. For more than 50 years, we have helped create strong community institutions that support sustainable, locally-driven initiatives to improve the lives of millions of people. By combining local knowledge with global best practices, we strive to bring about transformative and long-lasting improvements to quality of life. Working alongside the agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network and through partnerships with local communities, civil society and business as well as governments and international aid agencies, we are building a future where we all thrive together

Media contact: Christopher Wilton-Steer, christopher.w-steer@akdn.org 

About Arab Foundations Forum

The Arab Foundations Forum (AFF) is a non-profit membership-based association of philanthropic organizations, donors, funders, and other actors in the philanthropy sector-based or working in the Arab region. Our vision is for an effective and strategic philanthropic sector in the Arab region that engages with all aspects of society towards growing social responsibility and investment while advancing the public good.

Media contact: Jumana Farouky, faroukyj@arabfoundationsforum.org

About Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is an independent philanthropic organisation, with offices in Addis Ababa, Beijing, London, Nairobi and New Delhi. Established in 2002, CIFF works with a wide range of partners, to create a healthy, fair and safe world for children. Areas of work include child health and nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and rights, opportunities for girls and young women, child protection, and catalysing climate action.

Media contact: Anna Winston, awinston@ciff.org  

About the Climate Emergency Collaboration Group

The Climate Emergency Collaboration Group (CECG) is a philanthropic collaboration between some of the world’s largest climate philanthropies. Our mission is to support and build a diverse ecosystem of actors to drive just and ambitious multilateral climate action that is more responsive to the needs of the world’s most climate vulnerable. Ensuring the success of the annual UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COPs) is central to this mission, and we believe that each COP has the potential to be a catalyzing moment for collective action, impactful organizing, and powerful storytelling.

About ClimateWorks Foundation

ClimateWorks Foundation is a global platform for philanthropy to innovate and scale high-impact climate solutions that benefit people and the planet. We deliver global programs and services that equip philanthropy with the knowledge, networks, and solutions to drive climate progress for a more sustainable and equitable future. Since 2008, ClimateWorks has granted over $1.7 billion to more than 750 grantees in over 50 countries.

Media contact: Jennifer Rigney, jennifer.rigney@climateworks.org 

About Humanity United

Humanity United is a philanthropic organization dedicated to cultivating the conditions for enduring peace and freedom. We recognize that we live in a deeply interconnected world, where we are all united by the challenges and opportunities we face. We support and work alongside partners who are working to advance human dignity and change the systems that enable violent conflict and human exploitation around the world. Together, we strive to foster a more inclusive, free, and peaceful world where all people have an opportunity to flourish.

Media contact: Elizabeth Kim, bkim@humanityunited.org 

About Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, are the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. We approach this mission through the illuminating principles of justice, equity, and expression—defining characteristics of any truly open society.

About Quadrature Climate Foundation

Quadrature Climate Foundation takes a science-based approach to identifying and investing in solutions that reduce emissions, remove greenhouse gasses, and manage climate impacts globally.Since launching in 2019, we have committed more than £500 million to over 140 organizations advancing climate solutions in more than 40 countries around the world.

Media contact: comms@qc.foundation

About Rumah Foundation

Rumah Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Singapore-based family office, Rumah Group, and we are deeply passionate about people and nature. Fueled by the urgent need for ocean protection, our ocean-climate portfolio encompasses interventions that focus on awareness and education, the protection and restoration of blue carbon sinks, and sustainable seafood, specifically alternative proteins. Given the group’s activities in real estate, we actively explore solutions to decarbonise and improve the built environment. We deploy philanthropic and investment capital to generate positive environmental and social impacts.

Media contact: Kathlyn Tan, kathlyn@rumahgroup.com

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity. Today, we are focused on advancing human opportunity and reversing the climate crisis by transforming systems in food, health, energy, and finance. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org. 

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