Davos: The World Economic Forum, supported by more than 45 partners has launched the Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), a global initiative to raised fund of $3 trillion that needed each year to reach net zero, reverse nature loss and restore biodiversity by 2050.
“Current funding is slow and inadequate, and a new approach is needed to get capital flowing” said the WEF.
Philanthropic giving can address this, with unique qualities not found in other financing: it is nimble, more tolerant of risks and is driven by values and long-term outcomes rather than quarterly returns, the forum said.
“We are at a tipping point in our efforts to put the planet back on track to meet our climate ambitions” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.
“To reach the speed and scale required to heal the Earth’s systems, we need to unlock not only private capital and government funds, but also the philanthropy sector as a truly catalytic force to achieve the necessary acceleration” he said.
With the energy and cost of living crises, the ambition of steering the planet towards a 1.5-degree Celsius warming pathway hangs in the balance.
Meanwhile, the recent agreement at the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) in Montreal to conserve 30% of all earth and sea looks bold but fragile in the face of a rising biodiversity crisis.
Philanthropic financing for climate mitigation has risen in recent years, but still represents less than 2% of total philanthropic giving, estimated at $810 billion in 2021. Greater philanthropic funding for climate and nature will support, not detract from, existing social priorities.
As recently noted by Rajiv Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation “Climate change poses a singular threat to humanity … we must directly confront climate change, even as we 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 objectives” it said.
Wendy Abrams, Chief Executive Officer, Eleven Eleven Foundation, said: “We need more companies, family offices, individuals and the new generation of philanthropists to get involved in the climate and nature conversation. If we do not solve this together, there will be nothing to pass on to the next generation. GAEA can be a good platform to get all the right stakeholders and amplify action at scale.”
Rania Al-Mashat, Minister for International Cooperation, Government of Egypt, said: “This call to action is extremely timely, as it builds on the directions set during COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, ‘the COP of implementation’ under the Egyptian presidency.
“We need more philanthropies to join us at the table and help scale up 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 impactful philanthropic public private partnerships, and promote the role of the prominent ‘P’ – Philanthropy.” he said.
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 currently stands under 2% – and that is just not acceptable.
Calling it a “historic opportunity” to harness the full potential of philanthropic organizations, Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer, Crescent Enterprises, said,” COP28 in the UAE will raise the bar in terms of ambition and the creation of a global architecture for all capital actors to act together at speed and at scale.
“The World Economic Forum and GAEA is a powerful platform and amplifier to enhance these efforts” he said.
Helen Mountford, Chief Executive Officer, ClimateWorks, said: “By unleashing the small but mighty ‘P’ of philanthropy, we can create truly catalytic partnerships that unlock ambitious and collaborative public, private and philanthropic action to improve people’s lives.”
Lim Seok Hui, Chief Executive Officer, Philanthropy Asia Alliance (by Temasek Trust), said: “Philanthropy Asia Alliance will continue to amplify its impact by supporting initiatives such as GAEA to pool our collective resources and expertise, and translate ideas into action.
Bob Sternfels, Chief Executive Officer, McKinsey & Company, said: “We are very excited to support GAEA’s aim to better connect philanthropic capital with public and private sector efforts to strengthen climate and nature solutions. Our collective hope is to accelerate thinking and action towards tipping points in these arenas, and to assure economic growth is increasingly sustainable and inclusive.”