The World Economic Forum, supported by more than 45 partners today launched Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), a global initiative to fund and develop new and existing public, private and philanthropic partnerships (PPPPs ) to help unlock the $3 trillion in financing needed each year to reach net zero, reverse environmental loss and restore biodiversity by 2050.
With the energy and cost of living crises, the ambition to drive the planet towards a 1.5-degree Celsius warming path hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, the recent agreement at the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) in Montreal to preserve 30% of all land and seas seems brave but weak in the face of the growing biodiversity crisis. Current funding is slow and insufficient, and a new approach is needed to bring in the capital. Philanthropic giving can answer this, with unique qualities not found in other financings: it is agile, more tolerant of risks and driven by values and long-term results rather than quarterly returns.
“We are at a tipping point in our efforts to restore the planet to meet our climate ambitions. To reach the speed and scale needed to repair Earth’s systems, we must open up not only the private capital and government funding, but also the philanthropy sector as a real catalytic force to achieve the necessary acceleration,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman. , World Economic Forum.
GAEA’s growing group of philanthropic partners includes: Active Philanthropy, the African Climate Foundation, André Hoffmann Family Office, the Arab Foundations Forum, Bezos Earth Fund, BMW Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Clean Air Fund, Climate Leadership Initiative, ClimateWorks Foundation, Eleven Eleven Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Growald Climate Fund, IKEA Foundation, Laudes Foundation, Noa’s Ark Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Pearl Initiative, Philanthropy Asia Alliance (by Temasek Trust), Philea, The Rockefeller Foundation, Trottier Family Foundation, United Nations Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, WINGS, Workday Foundation.
Individuals, academic institutions, companies and public sector organizations supporting the initiative include: Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Capital for Climate, Carbon Direct, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, Center for Strategic Philanthropy at the University of Cambridge, Climate-KIC , Crescent Enterprises, Government of Egypt, HCLTech through their chairperson Roshni Nadar Malhotra, McKinsey Sustainability, Ocean14, Prince Maximilian von und zu Liechtenstein – Chairman of the Board LGT Group, Salesforce, Singapore University for Social Sciences, Stanford University Center for Ocean Solutions, Strategic Philanthropy Initiative at NYU Abu Dhabi, UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center, We Mean Business Coalition, World Association of PPP Units & PPP Professionals.
Philanthropic financing for climate mitigation has increased in recent years, but still represents less than 2% of total philanthropic giving, approximately $810 billion in 2021. Greater philanthropic funding for climate and nature will support, not interfere with, existing social priorities. As Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation, recently noted: “Climate change poses a unique threat to humanity … we must confront climate change head-on, even if We will redouble efforts in our traditional program areas: health, power, food, and equity.”
Over the next 12 months, supported by McKinsey Sustainability as a knowledge partner, GAEA will work with founding members to build momentum around three clear goals:
- Convening leaders from the public, private and philanthropic sectors to identify and target climate and environmental solutions where they are best positioned to play a catalytic role
- Pilot and refine funding models that can support PPPP interventions
- Scaling up and replicating successful practices in new sectors, regions and actors
GAEA will build on existing examples of success. For example, the Clean Cooling Collaborative, founded with the help of an initial $10 million philanthropic fund in 2016, mobilized more than $600 million in public and private finance to improve equitable access to low-carbon cooling and support 4.2 gigatons of avoided CO2 emissions by 2050.
Similarly, the Government of Seychelles used philanthropic funding, public loan guarantees and private investment to raise $15 million through blue bonds and convert $22 million of government debt into conservation funding to protect 13 marine areas, which covering an area larger than Germany.
Wendy Abrams, Chief Executive Officer, Eleven Eleven Foundation, said: “We need more companies, family offices, individuals and the new generation of philanthropists to join the climate and environmental conversation. If we can’t solve it together, nothing will be passed on to the next generation. GAEA can be a good platform to get all the right stakeholders and scale up action.
Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Government of Egypt, said: “This call to action is timely, because it builds on the directions set by the COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, ‘the COP in implementation’ under the Egyptian presidency. We need more philanthropists to join us at the table and help increase multilateral development bank finance to unlock private investments to accelerate the green transition. Egypt will work closely with the World Economic Forum to build effective and influential philanthropic public private partnerships, and promote the role of the prominent ‘P’ – Philanthropy.
Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation, said: “We are proud to support the launch of the GAEA initiative. The global figure of philanthropic capital for climate mitigation is currently below 2% – and that is unacceptable. But it is a is also a great opportunity to use philanthropic giving for climate action. Philanthropists can play a unique role in encouraging urgent, radical and unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sectors. only by working together at scale can we unlock the investment needed to achieve our ambitious climate goals and protect the planet.
Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer, Crescent Enterprises, said: “There is a historic opportunity to use the full potential of philanthropic organizations, family offices and other new capital players. , to unite government and business to meet our climate and environmental goals. COP28 in the UAE will raise the bar in terms of ambition and create a global architecture for all capital actors to work together at speed and scale.The World Economic Forum and GAEA are a powerful platform and amplifier to develop these efforts.
Helen Mountford, Chief Executive Officer, ClimateWorks, said: “By unleashing the small but powerful ‘P’ of philanthropy, we can create truly catalytic partnerships that unlock ambitious and collaborative public, private and philanthropic action to advance people’s lives.”
Lim Seok Hui, Chief Executive Officer, Philanthropy Asia Alliance (by Temasek Trust), said: “The Philanthropy Asia Alliance will continue to expand its impact by supporting initiatives such as GAEA to pool our collective resources and expertise, and translate ideas into action. GAEA’s first Asia-focused key deliverable to be launched later this year by PAA in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, is a climate philanthropy report on multi-stakeholder partnerships as a force to combat complex climate challenges .
Bob Sternfels, Chief Executive Officer, McKinsey & Company, said: “We are very excited to support GAEA’s goal to better connect philanthropic capital with public and private sector efforts to strengthen solutions on climate and environment. Our collective hope is to accelerate thinking and action towards tips in these arenas, and to ensure that economic growth is more sustainable and inclusive.