Climate philanthropy ‘essential to bring us out of global crisis’, says former Ireland president 


Shafi Musaddique


Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson has called on climate philanthropy to mimic Irish commitments and respond faster amid multiple global crisis.

‘Climate philanthropy has the opportunity to be nimble, to respond faster than others and to pioneer a type of groundbreaking research and studies which otherwise may not happen but will be essential to bring us out of the global crisis,’ says Robinson.

According to a report on climate grant making, published by Community Foundation Ireland, the country’s biggest grant maker in climate philanthropy, €3m will be provided to communities this year tackling biodiversity, up from just a quarter of a million in 2020.  

Climate and nature account for almost 10 per cent of all grant-making by Community Foundation Ireland and is expected to represent 15 per cent of the foundation’s grants by the end of the year.  

Globally, climate philanthropy represents just 2 per cent of total giving.  

The foundation says private, individual donors as well as corporate giving has pushed its climate grant making in Ireland.  

Trinity College Dublin, where Community Foundation Ireland confirmed 15% of its 2024 grant-making to communities (€3M) will go on climate and nature. Broadcaster Eileen Dunne, Minister Eamonn Ryan TD, Denise Charlton Chief Executive and Community Foundation Chair Roddy Rowan in photo.

Ireland’s push towards environmental justice has grown in recent years. In 2021, the country opened a first centre for environmental justice where, through a community mediation group, citizens can receive free legal advice on environmental harms. 

The recovery and protection of bogs, including 90 acres of bog-land in County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland facing the Atlantic Ocean, is underway through dialogue with local farmers and land owners. 

Former president Robinson added that the promotion of a circular economy is on the rise in Ireland. 

‘Philanthropy by its nature brings people into the same room and who otherwise might not work together. This includes scientists, policymakers, and of course, communities.’  

Shafi Musaddique is the news editor at Alliance magazine

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