Everything — everything — we hold dear is threatened by climate change. Yet our time to avert catastrophic change is rapidly running out.
In this critical decade, we must do everything possible to cut our emissions deeply and rapidly, while also preparing for the climate change impacts we can no longer avoid.
Taking an in-depth look
The Climate Lens focuses on seven issue areas where climate change is deepening inequalities and compounding existing challenges:
Our aim is to help you see — and armed with this insight mitigate against — climate change’s pervasive impacts on the people, places and causes you serve.
You can see climate change as the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced. Or we can see it as our greatest opportunity. We cannot afford to waste that opportunity.
— Christiana Figueres, chief architect of the Paris Climate Agreement
The power of philanthropy
Momentum is growing for climate action both at home and abroad. So too, is the realisation that the climate crisis presents humanity with an opportunity to build a better future: to create cleaner cities, develop sustainable agriculture, restore landscapes and improve people’s lives. Philanthropy has the power to turn this crisis around through its long-term perspective, ability to collaborate with and empower others, and willingness to take risks and invest in innovative solutions — scaling up the most workable at speed.
Indeed, the philanthropic community is mobilising — and in increasingly sophisticated ways — to ensure a safe climate and create a better world, and has already achieved some phenomenal outcomes. Nevertheless, we still face an enormous investment gap that must be closed by 2030 if we are to avert climate catastrophe. Only around 2 per cent of philanthropic giving in Australia is directed to the environment and climate change. We need more resources now, and there are immediate opportunities to have real and lasting impact.
Any grantmaker who just chugs along on the same issues without addressing climate is, truly, fiddling while the world burns — particularly given the certainty that whatever short-term progress is made through these efforts will be lost if climate change continues unchecked.
— Larry Kramer, President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, United Nations Member States across the globe issued an urgent call for united action to improve the lives and wellbeing of the world’s people and our planet. At the heart of the agreement is 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which “recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests”.
Today, the Sustainable Development Goals provide a way for funders to ensure their work is tackling the root causes of the disadvantage they seek to address and that their work is united with others.
As you explore the following seven issue areas, you’ll find icons that relate to each of the 17 SDGs to show how applying a climate lens to funding can help address the issue being discussed.