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F20 Conference take out: The transition to a low carbon future is possible

Foundations 20 platform.

Dr Catherine Brown, CEO of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, participated in a panel discussion at the F20 Conference in Tokyo in June.

The Foundations 20 Platform (F20) gathers a broad group of foundations and philanthropic organisations that seek to exhibit their support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement during the G20 process, the G20 summits and beyond.

Dr. Catherine Brown’s summary

There were a variety of presentations at the High-Level Forum, which demonstrated the technological solutions that will make the transition to a low carbon future possible. The presentation by the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Chief Scientist, Amory Lovins, was particularly inspiring. His presentation had a focus on energy efficient manufacturing and vehicle solutions.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is working on hydrogen as a renewable energy source and will be visiting Australia this year looking for investors. They were represented by Brian Goldstein of Energy Independence Now.

Dr. Catherine Brown at the F20 conference.

Pathways and goals

Henk Rogers, Founder and Chair of the Blue Planet Foundation in Hawaii, demonstrated the power of philanthropy in influencing policy. After sustained work, Hawaii, has now adopted a pathway of net zero carbon emissions by 2045 (the UK has since adopted a net zero emissions target by 2050).

Gender and a just transition

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, from Japan, was the co-host of the “Philanthropies’ Role in 2050” workshop for this F20 meeting. Their Chair, Mr Nobuo Tanaka, suggested that gender and the just transition were closely related and that philanthropy should do more to make this connection.


After reflecting on the presentations and conversations at F20, I think there is some exciting potential for philanthropy organisations to become more active in connecting the dots between the climate transition, inclusion and equality.

Dr. Catherine Brown on a panel discussion at the F20 conference.

I have two suggestions:

  1. We can choose to work on a climate transition issue that is relevant to our current philanthropy strategies.
  2. We can apply a climate lens over all our work and ensure that all new programs and buildings aim to achieve both social and energy efficiency outcomes.

Read Catherine’s full blog article on the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation website.

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