Fourteen UK funders commit to tackle climate change


Alliance magazine


Fourteen UK foundations have made a public commitment to tackle climate change and are calling other funders to join them in pledging their support.

The Funder Commitment on Climate Change is being launched at the annual conference of the Association of Charitable Foundations today, where climate change is a key theme. The fourteen strong group includes some of the largest UK foundations, who have put themselves forward to encourage action on climate change, including a commitment to public reporting on progress.

The Funder Commitment recognises that the growing climate emergency is a serious risk to the pursuit of charitable goals and that funders have a responsibility to ensure they are managing and distributing resources in a way that recognises and responds to this threat. The signatories include not just environmental funders, but also those focused on local communities, the arts, and poverty.

The signatories include: Arcadia (a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin), Barrow Cadbury Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Frederick Mulder Foundation, Friends Provident Foundation, Gower St, JA Clark Trust, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Lankelly Chase Foundation, Local Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Solberga Foundation, Thirty Percy and Zennström Philanthropies.

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive, Paul Hamlyn Foundation said: “Increasingly, we feel we need to respond more to climate change, especially given our grant-making focus on young people, and the degree to which they see this as the defining challenge of their generation. We are already taking action in some areas, but in others we know that we have a long way to go, so we welcome the framework and stretch target that being a signatory to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change will create. Staff and trustee engagement will help as we shape our response, and we look forward to reporting on our progress next year.”

All signatories must consider how their investments, operations and existing funding programmes can contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a post-carbon society.

Matt Leach, Chief Executive of Local Trust, who deliver the National Lottery Community Funded Big Local programme across 150 areas in England, added: “By signing this commitment we’re recognising the part we must play in being a responsible funder, but also the role that communities can play in creating a more environmentally sustainable future and how we can support them to do so.”

In her keynote speech at the ACF Conference, Carol Mack, Chief Executive of ACF, said:

“Increasingly, being effective in the pursuit of social good will require foundations to take a climate lens to their work. We fully support this new Funder Commitment and will be working with those who have spearheaded this effort, to inform members about it and build the community of practice around it.”

Nick Perks, co-ordinator of the Funder Commitment, says that support for this initiative has been strong. “Like the British public as a whole, people in charity funders want to see bold, positive action on climate change.  This Funder Commitment gives a framework for all funders, whatever their mission, to play their part. We hope that many more funders will sign up in the coming months”.

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