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The Center for Effective Philanthropy’s report, Much Alarm, Less Action: Foundations and Climate Change, reveals that many non-climate funders see climate change as outside the scope of their mission and resources, but still believe that it’s an urgent problem and haven’t ruled out future efforts to address it. Here, we see an opening. We invite funders to consider how each of us can enter the climate space from our particular lens; there is a role for all of us, no matter our issue area or our size.
We at Unbound Philanthropy are an example of a non-climate funder that has recently entered the climate space, seeing that climate change is inextricably connected to our mission: to contribute to vibrant, welcoming societies and just immigration systems in the U.S. and UK.
When we consider the intersections of climate change and migration, there are two major areas we are focused on: First, climate-related displacement is happening now, and second, immigrant communities feel climate change in their daily lives, and are leading solutions for climate justice. We also believe that we must approach climate solutions in collaboration, in a way that creates better solutions for everyone.
Climate-related displacement is happening now. Even if we dramatically slow climate change, we know that climate-related displacement is going to increase, likely dramatically, and we are unprepared. While Unbound and our grantee partners see migration as an adaptation to the climate crisis that governments should plan for, the response in some of the world’s wealthiest countries has been to put up what Bill McKibben calls “a global climate wall — consisting of weapons, walls, spying systems, and prisons — that aims to seal off the most powerful countries from the impacts of displacement.”
Immigrant communities feel climate change in their daily lives and are leading solutions for climate justice. While climate change affects everyone, the damage is compounded for countries and communities that are made vulnerable by restrictive immigration policies, patriarchal beliefs and systems, structural racism, and by economic stress and exploitation. Many immigrants in the US, alongside other communities, are living on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Consider, for example, the impact of heat for farmworkers: farmworkers are 35 times more likely to die due to heat-related causes than any other occupation. Nearly three-quarters of agricultural workers in the US are immigrants.
Read the full article about a time of new suns by Taryn Higashi at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.