European Climate Pact: An invitation to philanthropy organisations


Elena Višnar Malinovská


This article has been commissioned for PEXnews

Philanthropy can play an important role in Europe’s green transition by supporting concrete action for climate and the environment, from boosting local grassroots projects to accelerating and scaling up societal innovation. The European Climate Pact launched as part of the European Green Deal is an opportunity for philanthropy organisations to bring their valuable support to initiatives from across Europe.

The European Commission launched the European Green Deal in December 2019 as a plan to transform the EU into a fair, healthy, sustainable and prosperous society and to repair the way in which we interact with nature. Alongside the policies and legislation needed for systemic changes, the success of the Green Deal also depends on the broad involvement and active contribution of all parts of society – from school children to city mayors, artists and business leaders.

This is where the European Climate Pact comes in. Launched last December, the Pact invites everyone to participate in climate action and in building a greener Europe. The Pact is about awareness and action. It aims to offer ways for people and organisations to learn about climate change, to develop and implement solutions, and to connect with others to multiply the impact of those solutions.

Already now, anyone can apply to become a volunteer Climate Pact Ambassador as an individual, and organisations can suggest a representative who would become an Ambassador on their behalf. The Ambassadors’ role is to inform, inspire and support climate action in their communities and networks. The first 180 Ambassadors have already started to act as bridges between the EU-level action and inspiring local projects from tree-planting, clean-up actions, biking challenges to awareness-raising or decision-making, and the Ambassador network continues to grow.

The Pact’s motto is that ‘every action counts’. To this end, we are encouraging commitments from individuals and organisations. Individuals can sign up for making concrete, sustainable steps in their everyday lives – for example through the Pact’s partnership with the global Count Us In campaign. Each action taken is added up to see global, aggregated CO2 savings, demonstrating how every step adds up to something bigger and thus encouraging others to join.

The Pact also invites organisations or groups of stakeholders to register or co-create their climate initiatives and turn them into climate action pledges. A pledge can be big and small. It could be related to the way the organisation operates, produces, communicates or motivates citizens, employees, customers or stakeholders to take action. It can also involve innovative processes to involve youth, schools or civil society in decision-making through citizen assemblies or grassroots initiatives aimed at making neighbourhoods green and sustainable.

Collaboration and co-creation across different parts of the society and economy is the recipe for success. Cities, businesses, NGOs and grassroots organisations are already cooperating around issues such as sustainable mobility or waste management.

But of course, in supporting climate action across European society, the Climate Pact itself is not starting from scratch. It will work alongside numerous existing initiatives, networks and movements, with the aim of offering a fertile ground for existing initiatives to grow and new ones to emerge. To do so, it will showcase existing solutions for inspiration and learning, help networks of climate supporters and communities realise their own climate ambition or join forces with others, and seek to scale up and replicate good ideas and projects.

For philanthropy organisations, the Climate Pact offers opportunities to make a tangible positive contribution to the goals of the European Green Deal. Many foundations and donors are already active on sustainability issues, and their expertise and resources can play an important role in catalysing and accelerating further action to support the green transition from the ground up.

In particular, there is a clear role for philanthropy in addressing the funding gap experienced by many initiatives aiming to boost action for climate and the environment in communities across Europe, that the Pact highlights. The Pact aims to facilitate access to funding by signposting relevant EU programmes and other sources. Philanthropy organisations are well placed to provide for example the kind of small-scale financing that is not always easily accessible from other sources but that can make a real difference in supporting concrete action, helping to scale it up and replicate it across Europe.

Conversely, projects already being realised by the philanthropies can become inspiration for others in Europe and beyond. Every action counts and together we can make it!

Elena Višnar Malinovská, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission

Comments (2)

Erida Luka

And in fact this is life today. We need to generate life. We all seek to ensure a healthy life in a secure community, so we definitely need to secure a green and stable future. Community policies today are in the spotlight everywhere in Europe and in the world. EU policies aim to protect the environment, biodiversity and human health. "The corona virus has shown how powerless we are and how important it is to restore the balance between human activity and nature" "Frans Timmermans Executive Vice President of the European Commission Under the example of green European and world initiatives, we must recover from the situation pandemic, only through the green path.And for this every person, has an active role in preventing the spread of the Cov19 virus.Let everyone in his family and community, take a green action or initiative and of course the sum of how much will be modest to everyone, will be considerable in addressing environmental protection and climate change.Let’s start with a simple garden, a green balcony, which is the best place where everyone meets nature and the benefits are invaluable And to develop this experience together with our children, to ed emphasize the importance of nature conservation and raise awareness of a healthy environment for the future. The power is in the hend of the local community. Erida Luka- Eko - Group Albania

Ermira Pirdeni

2021-2030 the Decade of Healthy Ageing & Decade of Meeting the Needs of the Community! UN REPORT’s title: Albania is in the top list of global population ageing worldwide ASAG-Albanian Society for All Ages is presenting the case of a neighborhood of 240 families with 76% elderly population where the local government turned their yard into a car parking lot. The municipality does not take into account the history, demographics, perspective of the community and oes not use highly professional community human resources. This community is located in the center of the capital city Tirana and is inhabited by residents who have important contributions in the fields of health cares, geology, agriculture, art, etc. and today suffer from low pensions, neglect and active age discrimination. The community women are the main drivers of health care delivery and are potentially powerful agents of change, but they are generally segregated into lower status. We, the elderly women, responsible for the fate of our families, demand the rehabilitation of environmental sites and community spaces, the return of public land to public benefit, ie community centers for social and civic engagement and not only available to "elite" users. We want an Active Community!

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