Message from our Chair

All Australian trusts and foundations share one thing in common: A commitment to using our resources to make the world a better place. Whether we prioritise homelessness, education or international development, we strive to improve conditions for humankind.

The greatest challenge of our time is climate change. Every person on Earth will be affected, but the poor and vulnerable will be hit first and worst.

In Australia we can already see the results of a changing climate in our landscape. Coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and the bushfires destroying ancient rain forests in Queensland and Tasmania illustrate how our climate has changed.

We all feel the loss of these unique and magical places. Our whole community feels sadness for the people on the ground who are directly impacted by fires, floods and droughts.

Philanthropy is becoming increasingly active on issues of climate change and here in Australia a growing number of foundations are joining the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) to work with other funders and heighten their impact on this challenge.

Many foundations still wish to maintain a strong commitment to their other focus areas and we understand that they want to fulfil that commitment while doing what they can to address climate change.

With this in mind, the AEGN is developing a climate lens toolkit to help every philanthropic funder address climate change, regardless of the focus of their philanthropy. This publication introduces the climate lens, explaining how climate change impacts health, food security and disasters.

The wider philanthropic sector has an important role to play in the climate emergency. In other emergencies, we see communities pull together and focus on saving lives and livelihoods. Philanthropy’s direct links into communities position it to play a powerful role in helping its recipients to adapt — and to help avoid — dangerous climate impacts.

The AEGN is home to a group of philanthropists who share a deep concern for the future. They know solutions to reverse climate change are available now and are using their philanthropy to drive the economic transformation. Many of these members also fund other purpose areas and we are proud to share stories about their philanthropy in this publication.

I urge all Australian philanthropic funders, no matter your size or purpose area, to work with us to develop a climate lens toolkit that contributes to a more positive future for generations of Australians to come.

Keith Ince, Chair

For funders

We’re building a climate lens toolkit and we’d love your input. Perspectives from a wide variety of foundations with different focus areas will make the toolkit a dynamic game changer.

If you are from a foundation and would like to participate in our working group, or just share your views and needs, we want to hear from you.