World Economic Forum initiative hopes to generate $3tn a year for climate action


Alliance magazine


The World Economic Forum has launched an initiative to generate $3 trillion a year by leveraging philanthropic and public capital to tackle climate change and nature loss.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Giving to Amplify Earth Action, or GAEA, is supported by a number of well-known foundations and philanthropic organisations, including Active Philanthropy, the African Climate Foundation, the Arab Foundations Forum, Bezos Earth Fund, CIFF, the Clean Air Fund, ClimateWorks Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Laudes Foundation, Temasek Trust’s Philanthropy Asia Alliance, Wellcome Trust, and WINGS.

GAEA was launched earlier this month at Davos.

‘We are at a tipping point in our efforts to put the planet back on track to meet our climate ambitions. To reach the speed and scale required to heal the Earth’s systems, we need to unlock not only private capital and government funds, but also the philanthropy sector as a truly catalytic force to achieve the necessary acceleration,’ said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

Over the next year, GAEA will work with founding members to build momentum around three clear objectives:

  1. Convene leaders from the public, private and philanthropic sectors to identify and target climate and nature solutions where they are best positioned to play a catalytic role
  2. Pilot and refine funding models that can support PPPP interventions
  3. Scale up and replicate successful approaches to new sectors, regions and actors

GAEA will build on existing examples of success. For example, the Clean Cooling Collaborative, founded with the help of an initial $10 million of philanthropic funding in 2016, mobilised $600 million in public and private finance to improve equitable access to low-carbon cooling and support 9.4 gigatons of avoided CO2 emissions by 2050.

Similarly, the Government of the Seychelles leveraged philanthropic funding, public loan guarantees and private investment to raise $15 million through a blue bond and convert $22 million of government debt into conservation funding to protect 13 marine areas, covering an area larger than Germany.

Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer of the IKEA Foundation, said: ‘We are proud to support the launch of the GAEA initiative. The global figure of philanthropic capital for climate mitigation currently stands under 2 per cent – and that is just not acceptable. But this is also a massive opportunity to leverage philanthropic giving for climate action. Philanthropies can play a unique role in encouraging urgent, radical, and unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sectors. It’s only by working together at scale that we can unlock the investment required to achieve our ambitious climate goals and protect the planet.’

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