Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this podcast, NPR’s Nathan Rott discusses how philanthropy can help advance climate change research. However, more climate financing is necessary to create long-term support for these studies.
• The discussion participants examine the role of government funding for climate change and the efforts by the current administration to take away this type of funding. What are alternative ways for researchers to obtain the funds needed to study climate change?
• Can impact investing divert climate change?
Adapting to climate change and avoiding the worst of it is going to cost money. Now some wealthy individuals and foundations say they’re chipping in. They’ve committed more than a billion dollars for research into climate change and adaptation. Here’s NPR’s Nathan Rott on the role of philanthropy in climate finance.
NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: The donation that made headlines last week was the second largest ever given to an American University – $750 million to the California Institute of Technology for research into climate change and environmental sustainability. As such, it made waves in the climate finance community.
ROTT: Barbara Buchner is the executive director of the climate finance program at the Climate Policy Initiative, a research nonprofit.
BUCHNER: There is a real need to invest more in research and development in the climate space across different sectors and topics, and I’ve not really seen kind of a – huge donations like that happening.
ROTT: So the gift, made by California billionaires and agricultural giants Stewart and Lynda Resnick, was a pleasant surprise, but it wasn’t the only one. Just days before, at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed more than $300 million to help small-scale food producers who are facing the effects of a changing climate. Buchner sees it as a positive step.
BUCHNER: Hopefully it will be the beginning of a trend.
ROTT: Because thus far, climate change has lagged far behind other issues when it comes to charitable giving. Alicia Seiger is the managing director of the Sustainable Finance Initiative at Stanford University. She says Americans gave more than $400 billion just last year. The amount of that that went specifically to climate research or energy innovation…
ROTT: Philanthropists, Seiger says, still see climate change as a niche environment or conservation issue.
Read the full article about philanthropy for climate change by Nathan Rott at NPR.
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