Leading Philanthropies Commit Half a Billion for an Equitable Energy Transition
Philanthropic commitment seeks to support a clean energy future for people and countries on the frontlines of climate change
(Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – November 11, 2022) – A coalition of leading climate philanthropies today announced an investment of $500 million over the next three years to accelerate a just and equitable energy transition in low and middle income countries, while boosting sustainable development and creating new economic opportunities.
This catalytic philanthropic support will assist efforts by governments alongside civil society organizations and others that give momentum to new and emerging energy transition plans in the Global South. This partnership will build on existing and future multi-donor efforts that are ratcheting ambition and supporting government, community-level and corporate actions to mitigate climate change.
“This is a crucial time for philanthropy to scale its support to southern partners working to lead during remarkably challenging times,” said Izabella Teixeira, former Minister for the Environment of Brazil, Co-Chair of the International Resources Panel – UNEP and UN-DESA Board member. “The world needs southern leadership to prove that development priorities and climate priorities go hand in hand and build precedents for a truly just and equitable clean energy transition.”
“This mobilization of pooled funds to support climate action goes a long way to fill the gap of climate philanthropy funding in the south,” said Saliem Fakir, CEO of the African Climate Foundation, an African-led strategic grant-maker and think-tank working at the nexus of climate change and development. “It will strengthen southern leadership and localization of solutions especially in Africa where the gap of funding is the biggest.”
The partnership will support work that includes technical assistance and building the capacity needed to scale up renewable energy while transitioning away from fossil fuels, including through multi-donor initiatives. The aim of the investments is to support implementation in countries that have already made ambitious plans and to encourage more countries to develop high-ambition plans that will serve as the blueprints for the next decade.
“This funding is intended to support countries to implement their ambitious, just and equitable clean energy agendas,” said Christie Ulman, President of Sequoia Climate Foundation. “Philanthropy can and will play a key role in catalyzing a step change in support for energy and economic transitions. We recognize that the international community continues to fall unacceptably short of its promises for financial support to tackle climate change and its impacts. While this investment cannot and is not intended to make up for it, we are working to support countries in addressing their challenges and commitment to a clean energy transition. This commitment should be seen as a floor, not a ceiling, for what philanthropy can do to support a
just and equitable future.”
The philanthropies involved recognize the bold leadership by many low and middle income countries in setting ambitious goals even in the face of profound climate impacts. Importantly, the commitment is not a replacement for the billions already committed to developing countries, but not yet delivered, by developed countries who have the responsibility, the ability and the funds to move much faster and scale action globally. Another key priority for philanthropies is to scale civil society efforts as they continue to be driving forces for a just transition.
“For any country’s energy transition effort to be just, legitimate, and ultimately effective, it will require sustained engagement and participation from affected communities and civil society actors on the ground,” said Jamie Choi, CEO of Tara Climate Foundation, a regional philanthropic foundation aiming to accelerate Asia’s energy transformation. “Resourcing national and subnational civil society partners to play a proactive role in spurring their country’s clean energy transition will ensure that solutions stick.”
The announcement contributes momentum towards other philanthropic efforts to support the Global South in a critical moment as countries face compounding food, energy, and cost of living crises in addition to the ongoing impacts of the climate crisis.
The following philanthropic organizations are part of today’s announcement:
- Ballmer Group
- Bloomberg Philanthropies
- Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
- Good Energies by Porticus
- Growald Climate Fund
- High Tide Foundation
- Oak Foundation
- Sequoia Climate Foundation
- Three Cairns Group