COP26 — 3 things philanthropists can do

7 October 2021

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You might say it is a “COPortunity” for global climate action — here we will explain what COP26 is and how can you get involved.

What is COP26?

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will take place in Glasgow from October 31 – November 12, 2021. It is the most significant meeting of world leaders to discuss commitments to reduce emissions since the historic COP21 meeting in 2015 in Paris which produced the so-called Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius. There is mounting pressure on world leaders to bring strong commitments to reduce emissions to COP26, including Australia.

What is Australia contributing?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has faced criticism from world leaders who are concerned that Australia is not doing enough to reduce our carbon emissions. The Federal Government has committed Australia to reduce our emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 which is one of the weakest commitments of any country in the OECD. By comparison, the UK has committed to a 68 per cent reduction, Japan a 46 per cent reduction and, US a reduction of 50 per cent by 2030.

It is expected that Mr Morrison will announce Australia will commit to net zero emissions by 2050 ahead of COP26, however this is widely viewed as insufficient as it is what happens this decade that really matters. The UN says global emissions must nearly halve by 2030. In Australia, the step-change reductions in our emissions must have occurred by 2030 at the latest. While there is some dispute about the date by which Australia should reach net zero emissions, multiple credible pathways to net-zero agree Australia must reduce domestic emissions by at least 50-75 per cent by 2030.

Mr Morrison has not confirmed his attendance at the global summit.

What is the opportunity for philanthropy?

Australians have amongst the highest per-capita emissions in the world. And combining our exported and domestic carbon emissions place us on par with Russia as the fifth largest polluting nation on the planet. What we do today will have an impact on the future of our planet for the rest of humanity.

Philanthropy can play a crucial role in encouraging federal and state governments to do our fair share to limit our contribution to climate change.

Philanthropists can do the following 3 things at this critical moment:

  1. Fund climate solutions
  2. Advocate for greater climate commitments
  3. Recruit others to fund climate action

What can you do?

Here at the AEGN we have a series of initiatives to support you, as funders of the climate movement, to increase Australia’s action on climate change.

Participate in the COP26 — CLIMATE CHANGE SHOWCASE

An online event for funders to pitch 10 of the most strategic projects that – if funded – will help shift the dial on climate solutions in Australia. Nominations close Sunday 17 October so get in quick!

Get informed by joining virtual briefings and reading regular updates

Funders on-the-ground in Glasgow will be reporting back regularly throughout the COP26 so keep an eye on your inbox for invitations and updates.

Add your name to the Climate Champions Advocacy Statement

This public statement from Australian funders will be sent to political leaders across the country. Stay tuned for your opportunity to add your name.

Join global funders

Sign the International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change to demonstrate that funders across the world are funding the issue that will define our generation.

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We are in a historic moment for climate action. The decisions we make today will determine the future of humanity.